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A tiger's attack. 

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Copyright, 1886, 1888, by 

Press op Berwick & Smith, 
Boston, U.S.A. 




STfjts Folume 




rTIHE elephant is the true king of beasts, the largest and most 
-*- powerful of existing land animals, and to young and old a 
never ceasing source of wonder and interest. In former geological 
ages, it roamed the continental areas of every zone ; was found in 
nearly every section of North America, from the shores of the 
Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, and from New England to 
California. Where the hum of great cities is now heard, in by- 
gone days the trumpeting of the mastodon and elephant, and 
the cries of other strange animals, broke the stillness of the 
vast primeval forest. But they have all passed away, their 
extirpation undoubtedly hastened by the early man, the abori- 
ginal hunter ; and the mighty race of elephants, which now 
remains so isolated, is to-day represented by only two species, 
the African and the Asiatic, forms which are also doomed. 

To produce the eight hundred tons of ivory used annually, 
nearly seventy-five thousand elephants are destroyed ; and it does 
not require the gift of prophecy to foresee their extinction in the 
near future. The Asiatic elephant is said to be holding its own ; 
but the rapid advance of the British in the East, the introduction 
of railroads and improvements which mark the progress of civili- 
zation in India, where heretofore the elephant has been employed, 
cannot fail to have a fatal effect, and their extermination is only 


viii PREFACE. 

a matter of time. Knowing these facts, and the close relation- 
ship which the elephant has ever held in the advancement of man- 
kind in the East, it stands a picture of absorbing interest, the 
last of a powerful race, worthy of earnest efforts for its preser- 
vation. The question of its extinction rests with the rising 
generation. In America and England the ornithologists have 
made an appeal for our feathered friends, and ladies have been 
asked to put their veto upon the excessive use of feathers, which 
is surely tending to the extermination of our birds. The elephant 
can be protected in the same way. Eveiy ivory tusk that is 
brought to the African coast from the interior is said to cost a 
human life ; and that we may have ivory fans, billiard-balls, 
chessmen, knife-handles, inlaid furniture, grotesque Japanese stat- 
uary, etc., the elephant, who has been man's helpmate from 1200 
B.C., and perhaps earlier, to the present day, is threatened with 
extermination. The prominence of the elephant in early times 
is, I think, not generally appreciated. There was hardly a great 
public movement entailing war, in the early days of the East, in 
which these animals did not constitute an all-important element. 
Defeat and success were, as a rule, determined by the number of 
elephants ; and the fate of nations may be said to have depended 
upon the prowess of the proboscidians. 

In the present volume, I have endeavored to present as much 
of the history of the elephant as is compatible with popular inter- 
est, treating the animal in all its relations to man, and the eco- 
nomic questions involved : in war, pageantry, sports and games, 
as a faithful laborer and servant, comrade and friend, its ancestral 
forms, structure and anatomy. As the work is in no sense a 
scientific one, the student may regret the absence of details relat- 
ing to anatomy, etc. To compensate for such omission, I have 
appended a carefully selected bibliography of all the most impor- 


tant works, papers, and monographs, ancient and recent, relating 
to the subject. 

I am indebted to Mr. George P. Sanderson, officer in charge 
of the elephant-catching establishment at Mysore, Bengal, whose 
valuable work embracing his experience with the Asiatic elephant 
has been frequently consulted ; also to the works of Sir Emerson 
Tennent, and especially to the author of "Menageries," published 
by Messrs. Charles Knight & Co., London. 

C. F. H. 
New York, June 1, 1886. 



I. Natural History of the Elephant 1 

II. Habits and Ways of Elephants 12 

III. The Intelligence of the Elephant . . . .27 

IV. The Mammoth 36 

V. Three and Four Tusked Elephants (Mastodons) . 49 

VI. Jumbo C4 

VII. How Asiatic Elephants are captured alive . . 77 

VIII. Asiatic Elephants in Captivity 91 

IX. Hunting the Asiatic Elephant 97 

X. The White Elephant 117 

XI. Elephants in Ceylon . 137 

XII. Rogue Elephants 148 

XIII. Hunting the African Elephant 104 

XIV. Baby Elephants 179 

XV. Trick Elephants 184 

XVI. Elephants and their Friends 192 

XVII. Tuskers at Work 195 

XVIII. Ivory 217 

XIX. The Elephant in the Arts 231 




XX. Elephants in the Amphitheatre 241 

XXI. The Elephant in Pageantry ...... 249 

XXII. War Elephants of Modern Asia 255 

XXIII. War Elephants of Alexander the Great and his 

Successors 277 

XXIV. War Elephants of the Romans and Carthaginians 29-3 
XXV. Proboscidian Fictions 309 


INDEX 325 


Frontispiece. A Tiger's Attack ; 

Plate I. Elephant's Skull and Trunk, « . . . 

II. Elephants Moving Timber, ..... 

III. The Sibehian Mammoth, ...... 

A Mammoth Hunt, ........ 

IV. St. Petersburg Museum, ...... 

V. Cohoes Mastodon, ........ 

VI. The Dinotherium, ........ 

VII. African Elephant, Jumbo, .... 

VIII. Baby Jumbo, ........... 

IX. Asiatic Elephant, ........ 

X. Hunting the Elephant with Swords, , 

XI. The White Elephant, Toung Taloung, 

XII. Herd op Elephants, Ceylon, , . , , 

XIII. African Elephant, ........ 

XIV Hebe and Baby Bridgeport, .... 

XV. Elephant Carrying Logs, ..... 

Facing Title . 


.... 4 
. . 20 
. ... 80 
. . . . 3G 
.... 48 
. ... 58 
. ... 64 
.... 72 
. ... 80 
. ... 88 
. ... 100 
. , . .120 
. ... 140 
. ... 166 
. ... 180 
.... 200 

XVI. Asiatic Elephant and Tiger . 218 


L ; , of Illustrations. 

Plate XVI' Statue of Jupiter, ..... 

" XVIII. Prehistoric Stone Pipes, . . . 

" XIX. The Prince of Wales at Lahore, 

* 4 XX. The Prince of Wales at Agra, 

" XXI. Ancient Elephant Medallions, . 


, . . 238 

. . .246 

. . .255 

, . .270 

, . .280 

. . .290 


Chapter V. 





THE elephant is the largest living land animal ; and, 
though numerous forms existed in early geological 
times, it is represented to-day by two species only, — the 
African elephant, Elephas Africanus, and the Asiatic elephant, 
Elephas Indicus. The geographical range of the former ori- 
ginally included nearly all Africa, but now the animals are 
more closely confined to the central interior regions. The 
Asiatic elephant is found in the forests of India, Ceylon, 
Burmah, Siam, Cochin China, Sumatra, and the Malay pen- 
insula ; and, while the introduction of railroads into these 
countries in ensuing years will perhaps result in its extinc- 
tion, at present its numbers are not growing less. The 
African elephant differs from its Asiatic cousin in several 
particulars. The apparent distinguishing features are the 
tusks, that attain a much greater development, and occur in 
both sexes, while in the Asiatic species the males alone pos- 
sess them. The African elephant is at least a foot higher 
than the Asiatic, attaining a maximum height of eleven feet. 



Its ears are extremely large, covering the shoulder, and in 
some instances measuring three and a half feet in length 
by two and a half feet in width, while those of its Indian 
relative are comparatively small. 

When Jumbo — who was an African elephant — and one 
of the Asiatic elephants stood side by side, the difference was 
very marked. The summit of the head of the Indian species 
forms a pyramid, while the front, or forehead, is concave. In 
Jumbo the front of the head was somewhat convex, the eye 
larger ; and when we compare the feet, we find that while 
the African elephant has, as a rule, four nails on each foot, the 
Asiatic has four on each hind-foot, and five on each fore- 
foot. The number of nails often varies with individuals. The 
Indian natives esteem those animals most which possess five 
on each fore-foot, and four on each hind-foot, or eighteen, 
odd numbers being considered unlucky. The author of 
" Oriental Field Sports " says that he has observed elephants 
with fifteen nails, which no native would purchase ; and he 
heard of one with twenty, and saw one with eighteen. These 
differences are external, as all elephants possess five toes 
upon each foot internally. The two species also differ as to 
their teeth. The incisor teeth of elephants are greatly de- 
veloped, forming the tusks, and only occur in the upper jaw 
of living forms. They often attain enormous size, weighing 
from one hundred and fifty to three hundred pounds. The 
tusks of the Asiatic elephants born in this country were vis- 
ible at birth. Concerning them in general, Sanderson states 
that they are not renewed, but are permanent ; his informa- 
tion being based upon the personal observations of many 
years. Corse, who made observations in the last century, and 
published them in the " Philosophical Transactions," 1799, 


states that the elephants observed by him had milk, or decidu- 
ous tusks as well as permament ones ; that the milk-tusks 
appeared at about six months of age, and fell out between 
the first and second years. He found in the young skull the 
place of the capsule of the permanent tusks, which appear a 
couple of months after the loss of the milk-tusks. Huxley 
says, " In recent elephants, only the two incisors are pre- 
ceded by milk-teeth ; " and this may be the generally accepted 
belief. The tusks have no roots, like the teeth of some ani- 
mals, but fit firmly into what are called premaxillary sockets : 
and if we should examine this buried, or hidden, portion, we 
should find that it was partly hollow, so to speak ; the ivory 
at the root being very thin, and surrounding a pulp where 
the ivory is being secreted. The length of this soft pulp 
varies according to the age of the animal : thus, in young ele- 
phants, only a small portion of the tusk outside of the gum 
is solid ivory; all the rest being hollow, or containing the 
pulp. As the animal grows, this cavity decreases in length, 
until in extremely old elephants it disappears entirely, and 
the tusk is solid ivory. 

In the left tusk of the elephant shot by Sir Victor Brooke 
(p. 115), the pulp-cavity was wholly obliterated, its place 
occupied by an exceedingly dense nodular dentine. This 
tusk was diseased. In the right tusk of the same animal the 
pulp-hollow extended from the base through half the imbed- 
ded portion, or thirteen and a half inches. In a pair of tusks 
owned by Col. Douglas Hamilton, of the British army, the 
pulp-cavity occupies ten inches and a half of the imbedded 
length. From this it is evident that the length of a tusk 
cannot be accurately determined from mere observation, as 
in a large elephant the sockets are from one foot six inches 


to one foot nine inches in length; so that an animal might 
have a tusk three feet and a half long, and show only one 
foot and a half of it, the gum alone concealing about four 

As the ivory is so soft at the base of the tusk, it is evident 
that it can be easily broken ; and, if a bullet or spear strikes 
this spot, it becomes embedded, and eventually incorporated, 
in the tusk. Workers in ivory are often surprised to find a 
leaden bullet in the solid ivory. In a collection in London, 
there is a section of a tusk which was cut at a piano-forte 
manufactory in 1805, which has a wrought-iron musket-ball 
firmly embedded in it ; and other instances can be seen in 
the museum of the London University. 

In their growth, tusks often assume strange shapes, being 
liable to twist, just as the horns of a cow. Livingstone saw 
an elephant with three tusks, the third one growing out be- 
tween the other two. The tusks frequently grow straight ; 
some twist in a spiral, others form a complete circle ; and 
many elephants have only one from birth, — like the fictitious 
unicorn. These animals are called Gfimesh by the natives. 
The name is that of the Hindoo god of wisdom ; and, if the 
single tusk of the Griinesh is the right one, the animal is 
reverenced. Some dimensions of tusks will be given in 
the chapter on Ivory. Perhaps the largest was one sold in 
Amsterdam some years ago. It weighed, according to Kolok- 
ner, three hundred and fifty pounds. Eden measured several 
nine feet in length, and one described by Hartenfels exceeded 
fourteen feet. There is one in the museum of Natural His- 
tory, Paris, seven feet in length. The uses to which the large 
incisors are put, are often exaggerated. The African ele- 
phant employs its tusks to uproot small mimosa-trees, but 



— Molar Tooth of African Elephant. 
— Molar Tooth of Asiatic Elephant. 
— Molar Tooth of Elephas Americanus. 
— Skull of Dinotherium. 
— Molar Tooth of Mastodon giganteus. 

Fig. 6. — Head of an Elephant, showing the 
muscles. B. Section of the trunk. 
Figs. 7, 8, 9. — Show the Uses of the Trunk. 
Fig. 10. — Section of the Skull of an Indian 
Elephant, j. air sinuses, n. nostrils, b. brain. 
m. molar tooth, t. tu-ik. 





they are never used to overthrow as large objects as is often 
stated. Sir Samuel Baker measured mimosa-trees four feet 
six inches in circumference, and thirty feet high, which ele- 
phants had pulled down ; and the damage they cause in a 
mimosa-forest is almost incredible. These trees, however, 
have no tap-root, and are comparatively easy to overthrow. 
Cumming says, " I have repeatedly ridden through forests 
where the trees thus broken down lay so thick across one 
another that it was almost impossible to ride through the 
district." The female elephant uses her tusks to scrape 
the barks from trees ; but the large tusks of the males are 
designed as a defence, — the elephant with the finest tusks 
ruling the herd, — and terrific wounds are made by them. 
The elephant Conqueror, in this country, was killed by being 
gored in this way ; and in India, when it is necessary at the 
government corral to subdue a mad elephant, a reliable tusker 
is provided with steel tusks, or giavies, which fit over the 
stumps of the others, and with these they do terrible work. 

If we examine the skull of the elephant, we find only two 
molar teeth on each side of each jaw, — eight in all ; and no 
more, as a rule, are seen at one time, twenty-four in all 
appearing during the lifetime of an elephant. 

The teeth appear in a curious way, moving gradually for- 
ward from behind in regular succession ; each old front tooth 
as it is worn away being pushed out of place by its successor. 
This wonderful provision is necessary, as the front teeth are 
worn away by the sand and gritty substances taken in with 
the food. The molar, or grinding, teeth are extremely heavy 
and large, and are nearly buried in the socket, the upper por- 
tion only showing. They are made up of a number of trans- 
verse perpendicular plates composed of a mass of dentine 


incased in an outside layer of enamel, which is in turn cov- 
ered by a layer of cement that fills the spaces between the 
plates, and seems to bind the whole together. Each of the 
enamel plates, though appearing separate at the surface, is 
connected with the others at the base. The difference be- 
tween the teeth of the Indian and African species is shown 
in Plate 1. In the Indian elephant the ridges of enamel are 
narrower, more undulating, and appear in greater numbers 
than in the African species, in which the ridges are less par- 
allel, and enclose lozenge-shaped spaces. There are certain 
other differences in the species, such as the number of bones 
in the vertebral column, or "backbone;" those of the African 
elephant numbering from twenty to twenty-one, and those of 
the Indian elephant nineteen to twenty. In examining the 
skull of an elephant, we are struck with its enormous size, 
and the comparatively small space taken up by the brain. 
The skull is not so heavy as it appears, the interior being 
divided off into partitions, or air-cells ; so that, while there is 
a large surface for the attachment of the trunk-muscles, the 
head is massive, but not heavy. The neck of the elephant is 
so short, that, without some special provision, it could not feed 
from the ground ; and this is seen in the trunk, or proboscis, 
that is a prolongation of the upper lip and nose, sometimes 
seven feet in length. It commences at the nasal opening of 
the face, contains a pair of tubes closed by a valvular arrange- 
ment, and at its end on the upper side is a small prolongation 
like a finger, opposite which is a prominence, or tubercle, that 
acts as a thumb. The trunk is made up of a vast number of 
muscles, estimated by Cuvier at about forty thousand. Upon 
the outside, the trunk appears to be ringed ; and it is a most 
remarkable organ, combining the offices of a hand and nose, 


and exercising taste, touch, suction, expulsion, and prehension. 
With it the elephant lifts its driver, pulls over small trees, 
reaches for its food, takes in water which is in turn expelled 
into the mouth, squirts water or sand over its body ; in fact, 
there is hardly any thing, from drawing a cork from a bottle, 
to hurling a tiger into the air, that this wonderful trunk can- 
not do for its owner. Without it the elephant would starve. 
One in India which had lost its trunk, had to be fed by having 
food placed in its mouth. Though the trunk is so useful, it 
is a very tender and delicate organ, and is not used in the 
rough manner generally supposed. In making an attack, it 
is raised high in air out of the way. When a great weight is 
lifted, it is not the trunk, but the tusks, which are employed, 
the former only holding the object upon the latter. 

Once, when visiting the herd of elephants owned by Mr. 
Barnum, the trainer called my attention to a small hole, or 
opening of a gland, situated on each side of the head between 
the eye and the ear, that is scarcely perceptible. It is the 
opening of a duct, perhaps two inches in length, that extends 
toward the lachrymal organs, and leads to a secretory gland. 
From this orifice, there exudes at times a thick, gummy sub- 
stance, which sometimes clogs up the opening, and un- 
doubtedly affects the animal unpleasantly ; as, when this is 
filled, the trainer told me that the elephant would take a 
small stick or straw in its trunk, and endeavor to remove the 
obstruction. This will be alluded to in the chapter on Rogue 
Elephants. This exudation is generally considered a warn- 
ing in the East, that the elephant is going to be ugly, and is 
called must. In Asiatic wild elephants it occurs usually in 
cold weather, from November to February. This peculiarity 
has been noticed from the earliest times : it was remarked 


upon by Strabo, and is referred to in Hindoo mythology. 
" The Hindoo poets frequently allude to the fragrant juice 
which oozes, at certain seasons, from small ducts in the tem- 
ples of the male elephant, and is useful in relieving him from 
the redundant moisture with which he is then oppressed ; 
and they even describe the bees as allured by the scent, and 
mistaking it for that of the sweetest flowers.- When Crishna 
visited Sanc'ha-dwip, and had destroyed the demon who 
infested that delightful country, he passed along the bank 
of a river, and was charmed with a delicious odor which its 
waters diffused in their course. He was eager to view the 
source of so fragrant a stream, but Avas informed by the 
natives that it flowed from the temples of an elephant, 
immensely large, milk-white, and beautifully formed ; that 
he governed a numerous race of elephants, and the odorifer- 
ous fluid which exuded from his temples had formed the 

It is evident that wild elephants probe this opening, which is 
a little larger than a pin-head, and that the sticks used often 
break off in the orifice, and by working in give the animals 
such agony that they go mad for the time. When Mr. Cow- 
per Rose shot an elephant in Africa, the men immediately 
began to hunt for the " piece of wood in the head, to which 
they attached great value as a charm." Mr. Rose was evi- 
dently not familiar with the gland, or opening. He says, " I 
sat on one (a dead elephant) while they searched for the 
wood in his head. It lies about an inch beneath the skin, 
embedded in fat, just above the eye, and has the appearance 
of a thorn, or a small piece of twig broken off. Some are 
without it : and, on examining the spot minutely, we found 
that there was a small opening in the skin, — a large pore, \t 


may be ; and I conceive that this phenomenon is simply 
accounted for by the twig breaking in this hole when the 
animal is in the act of rubbing his head against the bushes." 
The body of the elephant, weighing sometimes three tons, 
is supported by four ponderous, pillar-like legs, the move- 
ments of which, especially the posterior, or hinder pair attract 
immediate attention ; and the first impression is, that the hind- 
legs of the elephant are entirely different from those of any 
other mammal. They seem to bend in the wrong direction. 
The difference consists merely in the greater length of the 
thigh-bone, or femur, which brings the knee much farther down 
than in other animals. The horse is equally remarkable for 
an opposite reason ; as it walks and stands upon the toe-nail 
of its single toe, while its heel is as high up as the knee of 
the elephant is low. Covering this wonderful frame, or skel- 
eton, is the loose, wrinkled skin an inch thick, so tough and 
heavy, — often weighing eight hundred pounds, — that the ele- 
phant and others were at one time included in a group called 
the thick-skinned animals (pachyderms). The skin is com- 
paratively hairless ; though some elephants have more than 
others, and young ones more than adults. The theory gen- 
erally accepted, is that the elephants of southern countries 
have lost their hair by long-continued residence in regions 
where it was not necessary. Quite recently two young or 
dwarfed Asiatic elephants were exhibited in New York as 
mammoths, on account of their superabundance of hair ; but 
it is needless to say that they were ordinary Asiatic elephants. 

In the present work, it is not necessary to refer particularly 
to the internal organization of the elephant, but the subject 
is replete with interest. The enormous heart, a foot in 


diameter, in its contraction exerts tons of pressure ; and the 
blood forced out by it must attain almost the force of water 
from the hose of a fire-engine. Hunters have often been 
astonished at seeing elephants, which they have been chasing 
for some time, insert their trunks into their mouths, and 
there obtain a supply of water that is blown over the dry 
and heated body. The explanation of this is, that the stom- 
ach of the elephant resembles that of the camel, in having a 
chamber that can be cut off or separated from the digestive 
cavity, in which about ten gallons of water is stored as a 
reserve supply, or to be used as occasion requires. 

The female elephant is generally smaller than the male. 
The mammary glands are situated between the fore-legs, and 
the calf nurses with its mouth, instead of the trunk as was 
once supposed. The period of gestation is about five hun- 
dred and ninety-seven days. The weight of the elephant at 
birth differs in individuals. One observed by Owen weighed 
one hundred and seventy-five pounds, and stood two feet ten 
inches in height. The little elephant Bridgeport weighed 
two hundred and forty-five pounds at birth, and stood three 
feet in height. The baby elephant America, born in Phila- 
delphia, weighed two hundred and thirteen and a halt 
pounds, and measured thirty-four inches and a half at the 
shoulder. It grew so rapidly, that in eleven months it gained 
about seven hundred pounds, — not so very surprising, as it 
came of a very heavy family. Its mother weighed seven 
thousand and twenty pounds, and was only twenty-three 
years old ; and the father, who was three years older, four 
tons. The baby's trunk, or proboscis, was at first twelve 
inches long, and nine inches in circumference at the root, or 


The young Asiatic elephant grows about eleven inches in 
the first year, eight in the second, six inches in the third, 
five in the fourth, five in the fifth, in the sixth three and a 
half, and in the seventh, two and a half, the measurements 
having been made by Mr. Corse. 




THE most favorable locality to observe wild elephants in 
India is in Mysore, where the western ghats, the Billiga- 
rungnn hills, and the Goondulpet and Kakankote* forests, 
afford fine opportunities to the naturalist and sportsman to 
observe the largest of living land animals in the haunts of 
its choice. It is here that the elephant-catcher of the British 
Government, Mr. George P. Sanderson, makes his head- 
quarters, and has obtained such signal success for many 

Wild Asiatic elephants usually travel in herds of from 
thirty to fifty, though sometimes the number is swelled to 
one hundred and over ; but small herds are the rule, this 
division allowing them to obtain a much larger supply of 
food. The necessity of this can be better appreciated when 
it is known that a band of one hundred elephants require, or 
will consume, eighty thousand pounds of fodder in a day. 

The favorite food of the wild Asiatic elephant in Ceylon 
is palms, especially the cabbage, the young trunks of palmyra 
and jaggery (Cari/ota urens). They are also very fond of 
figs, the sacred Bo-tree (F. religiosa) found near the temples;, 
as well as the Negaha (Messua fer red). The leaves of the 
jak-tree are considered a great luxury by the huge creatures ; 


while the bread-fruit, wood-apple, sugar-cane, palm, pineapple, 
watermelon, and the feathery part of the bamboo, are all to 
its taste. Among the grasses, the mauritius and Guinea grass 
are eaten ; and all the grains. Cocoanuts they break by 
rolling them under foot. 

The African elephant affects the succulent mimosa, and 
larger shoots and branches than its cousin, its teeth being 
fitted for a coarser diet. They are, according to Drummond, 
particularly fond of the fruit of the unganu-tree, which 
seems to intoxicate them ; as they stagger about, performing 
the most remarkable antics for a clumsy beast ; often trum- 
peting so loudly that they can be heard for miles, and 
sometimes engaging in terrific encounters. 

When separated into small herds, the elephants all move 
in concert, as if there was a mutual understanding as to the 
general route to be taken. Elephants are extremely sure- 
footed, and will climb quite steep hills. A paper in the Jour- 
nal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal describes the methods 
adopted by the elephant in going down-hill. The writer 
says, " An elephant descending a bank of too acute an angle 
to admit of his walking down it direct (which were he to 
attempt, his huge body, soon disarranging the centre of grav- 
ity, would certainly topple over), proceeds thus : his first 
manoeuvre is to kneel down close to the edge of the declivity, 
placing his chest to the ground. One fore-leg is then cau- 
tiously passed a short way down the slope ; and, if there is no 
natural protection to afford a firm footing, he speedily forms 
one by stamping into the soil if moist, or picking out a foot- 
ing if dry. This point gained, the other fore-leg is brought 
down in the same way, and performs the same work, a little 
in advance of the first, which is thus at liberty to move lower 


still. Then the tirst one of the hind-legs is carefully drawn 
over the side, and then the second : and the hind-feet in 
turn occupy the resting-places previously used and left by 
the first ones. The course, however, in such precipitous 
ground is not straight from top to bottom, but slopes along 
the face of the bank, descending till the animal gains the 
level below. This an elephant has done at an angle of forty- 
rive degrees, carrying a howdah. its occupant, his attendant, 
and sporting apparatus, and in much less time than it takes 
to describe the operation. I have observed that an elephant 
in descending a declivity uses his knees on the side next the 
bank, and his feet on the lower side only." Elephants are 
d described as galloping, leaping, and gambolling about 
like a horse. Such movements are impossible : the only gait 
being a walk, that can be increased to a very rapid shuffle 
of fifteen miles an hour for a short distance. It appears to 
move the legs on the same side together, but this is not 
aetly so. Elephants cannot leap, and never have all four feet 
from the ground at the same time. Sanderson says, "II 
seen an elephant g v quite high hurdles, but never take 

all four feet from the ground at once. Even the small 51 
spring is beyond its pow< . small trench seven fee: aci ss 
_ aire impossible by the largest elephant, although its 
le may be six feet and a half long." 
The sense of smell is so delicate that a tame elephan: 
rec g he presence of a wild one three mile- . and 

by its actions inform the mahout. Selous. the African hum 
watched a herd of elephants cross his trail from a place of 
security them : and the moment the trunk of the leader 

5] I where his foot had been, it stopped, w.. 
its pro' s is moments, then turned and ran, accom- 


panied by the entire band. The herds of elephants, when 
divided, are family parties, generally all related, and on the 
march. The mothers with young always take the lead ; the 
old tuskers following along in the rear, taking the front, how- 
ever, in case of alarm. This method of procedure might 
appear strange at first; but the mothers probably know how 
long a tramp the calves can endure, and so the responsibility 
is left to them. 

All of my young readers who have visited the circus, 
must have heard the trumpeting of elephants. This is 
one of their methods of communication : in other words, 
elephants have a language that is expressed in different 
ways, — sometimes by the throat, and, again, by the trunk, 
^'hen an elephant is pleased, it expresses it by a squeaking- 
noise, — a most ear-grating sound made in the trunk. It 
also purrs gently, often so low that the keeper alone hears it. 
When fully enraged, and rushing upon an enemy, its war-cry 
is a shrill trumpeting that no one can mistake. Rage is 
also expressed by a low, hoarse rumbling in the throat. Fear 
or pain is manifested by a shrill squeak, and sometimes by a 
loud, reverberating roar. The expression of misapprehension 
or suspicion is entirely different from that of fear, being 
shown by rapping the trunk upon the ground sharply, at the 
same time emitting a volume of air from the trunk, that is 
said to sound like a sheet of tin being rapidly doubled. Desire 
or want is expressed by the throat, especially in young ele- 
phants ; and any one who watched the famous baby elephant 
Bridgeport, must have heard the curious sounds it uttered. 

In the open country the elephant seems to have regular 
trails, or drives, that are followed season after season with 
some regularity. During the dry time, that in India is from 


January to April, they follow the beds of streams, and seek 
the deep forests, there finding protection from the intense 
heat ; but when the rain commences, in June, they roam into 
the open country, grazing upon the new and fresh grass pro- 
duced by the warm showers. With the latter also come innu- 
merable flies, that also drive them out into the low jungles ; 
one, a huge insect as large as a bee, with a long proboscis, 
being especially irritating. At this time they frequent the 
salt-licks, and have been seen to eat earth impregnated with 
soda. This is the elephant's medicine, certain kinds of earth 
being eaten for the same reason that dogs eat grass. 

When the dry season comes, and the grass is withered and 
bitter, the herds leave the lowlands, remaining in the hills 
until the next season. Almost the entire time is spent in 
grazing ; though they are often seen after a rain warming 
their great bodies in the sun, or standing upon the open rocks 
that form a characteristic of the hills of the Mysore country. 
When the fodder is exhausted in a locality, the march is 
taken up, and invariably in Indian file ; so that it is often 
difficult to tell whether ten or one hundred elephants are 
ahead. Upon reaching a good locality, they disperse, and 
remain in the vicinity for two days or so. Their rest is taken, 
as a rule, in the middle of the night ; particular friends lying 
down together, or often a family party. They are early risers, 
and by three o'clock in the morning are either feeding, or on 
the march. At ten o'clock they will perhaps collect for a 
rest, then from four in the afternoon until eleven at night 
they feed or march. There are, of course, exceptions to this. 
In very cool or wet weather they march all day, and often 
for various reasons do not lie down for several days at a time. 
Elephants sleep like horses, either standing or lying down. 


The latter is the natural way, though the process of assum- 
ing a reclining position is a somewhat difficult one. When 
first captured, they often do not lie down for weeks. It is 
stated that an elephant owned by Louis XIV. did not lie 
down for the last five years of its life. It wore two holes in 
the stone buttress with its tusks, and seemed to support itself 
to some extent in this way while it slept. Wild African ele- 
phants have been observed leaning against a tree in the for- 
ests. The enormous ears of the African elephant are used 
as fans ; and when a herd is seen upon a hot day, these huge 
members are continually moving, either to create a current 
of air, or to blow away the insect pests with which they are 
infested. They have also been seen to take a branch in their 
trunks to brush away flies, using it as a person would a fan. 
The hearing of the elephant is very acute, much more so than 
in man ; experiment having shown that a female heard her 
young when the sound was inaudible to a party of English- 
men between her and the calf. 

Sir Everard Home experimented with an elephant by 
musical sounds, and came to the conclusion that it did not 
possess a musical ear, though it was attracted by certain 
notes. He says, "I got Mr. Broadwood, as a matter of 
curiosity, to send one of his tuners with a piano-forte to the 
menageries of wild beasts in Exeter Change, that I might 
know the effect of acute and grave sounds upon the ear of a 
full-grown elephant. The acute sounds seemed hardly to 
attract his notice ; but as soon as the grave notes were struck, 
he became all attention, brought forward the large external 
ear, tried to discover where the sounds came from, remained 
in the attitude of listening, and after some time made noises 
by no means of dissatisfaction." 


The elephant is extremely fond of water ; and soon after 
sunrise the Asiatic species can be seen sporting in the 
streams, floundering about, and spouting water over their 
huge bodies, piping and trumpeting with conflicting emotions. 
They are very susceptible to cold, and when obliged to enter 
water at night, or when it is chilly, are careful to lift their 
tails and trunks above the- surface if possible. 

So clumsy an animal would hardly be expected to excel in 
swimming, yet probably few land animals can compete with 
them in this respect. In 1875 Mr. Sanderson sent a herd of 
seventy-nine from Dacca to Barrackpur near Calcutta, and 
during the march they had to cross the Ganges and several 
large tributaries. In one place the entire herd swam without 
touching bottom for six consecutive hours : then after resting 
a while on a sand-bank, they swam three more, or nine in all, 
with but one rest. Few land animals could accomplish this 
without losing some of their number. But Mr. Sanderson 
states that he has heard of swims even more remarkable than 
this. Notwithstanding their fine swimming powers, elephants 
are sometimes drowned by very simple means ; and Mr. San- 
derson records such an instance : " We had left the Myanee 
above its junction" with the Kurnafoolie, and were marching 
by land ; but, owing to the lie of the country, Ave had to 
cross the Kurnafoolie occasionally. It was very deep, and 
the elephants had to swim. One morning, whilst crossing 
where it was about eighty yards wide and thirty feet deep in 
a gorge through a saddle in the hills, a tusker which was 
secured between two tame ones, one in advance of, and one 
behind, him, sank like a stone, probably from being seized 
with cramp from the coldness of the water, and dragged the 
two females with him. Their mahouts tried in vain to slash 


the ropes through : they had barely time to save themselves 
by swimming. Any thing more sudden or unexpected I 
never witnessed. One elephant appeared again for a brief 
moment, at least about two feet of her trunk did : she waved 
us a last farewell, when all was still save the air-bubbles 
which continued to rise for some time from the calm, deep 
pool. Every one who witnessed it was shocked. The 
drivers of the elephants yet to cross hesitated. We could 
not believe the unfortunate beasts would not come up again. 
The mahouts sat down, and cried like children over the loss 
of the faithful beasts they had tended for years. Elephants 
are such good swimmers, that I cannot understand how it was 
that the two tame ones were unable to gain the shore, which 
was only twenty yards distant, by towing the wild one. 
When they floated, we found that they were in no way entan- 
gled ; and it was not owing to snags catching the ropes, nor to 
any undercurrent, that they were drawn down. One of the 
tame ones, Geraldine, was a great favorite of mine ; and she 
and the other were worth twelve hundred dollars each. The 
tusker was worth twenty-four hundred, so the money lost to 
the government was considerable." 

No subject relating to elephants is so difficult to determine 
by a mere casual examination, as that relating to its size. 
Statements from natives can never be relied upon ; as in times 
of excitement a large bull will appear twenty feet high, and 
the observers are not at all unwilling to make affidavit to 
that effect. Asiatic elephants rarely, if ever, attain a height 
of ten feet at the shoulder. The largest in the Madras com- 
missariat stud to-day measures nine feet ten inches. The next 
largest is owned by his Highness the Maharajah of Mysore, 
and measures nine feet two inches, and is forty years old. 


Females are usually smaller. Two in the collection at Dacca 
measure eight feet five inches, and eight feet three inches 
respectively ; and, to show that this is exceptional, Mr. San- 
derson measured one hundred and forty in 1874, and found 
that the largest females measured just eight feet. Mistakes 
and exaggerations occur from the fact that elephants are often 
measured by throwing a tape over the shoulders, and, when 
both ends touch the ground, accepting one-half as the correct 
height : nine inches may be gained in this way in measuring 
an eight-foot animal. Mr. Corse, a former superintendent of 
the East India Company's elephants at Tiperah, a province 
of Bengal, who probably saw a greater number of elephants 
than any European, states that he never heard of more than 
one Asiatic elephant that exceeded ten feet. This was a 
large tusker, the property of the Vizier of Oude. Accurate 
measurements were made, which were as follows : — 

From foot to foot over the shoulder . 

From the top of the shoulder, perpendicular height 

From the top of the head, when set up 

From the top of the face to the insertion of the tail 

Mr. Corse says, " During the war with Tippoo Sultan, of 
the fifteen hundred elephants under the management of Capt. 
Sandys, not one was ten feet high, and only a few males nine 
and a half feet high. He was very particular in ascertaining 
the height of elephants used at Madras and in the army under 
Marquis Cornwallis, from the fact that the most remarkable 
stories were current at the time concerning large elephants. 
Madras elephants were reported from fifteen to twenty feet 
high. The Nabob of Dacca was said to have one, fourteen 
feet in height ; and Mr. Corse took a journey to the locality 













AST' * I ^-OX ♦"O 

tildl-u ^o- u riu s 



purposely to measure it. He found, that instead of twelve 
feet, as he thought barely possible, the elephant was only ten. 
If any of my readers wish to test the accuracy of any state- 
ment as to an elephant's height, they have only to measure 
the distance around its foot twice, which will give nearly the 
exact height at the shoulder. This is as deceptive as guess- 
ing the height of a silk hat or the length of a horse's head. 
x\ party of young people were once watching some elephants, 
when the question was propounded how many times around 
the foot would equal the height. The answers were all over 
ten, and one was fifteen. As the circumference of the fore- 
foot of the average elephant is about fifty-four inches, this 
would have given them an animal over sixty feet high. It 
has been supposed by some authors, that elephants are not as 
tall now as formerly, that they have degenerated in size 
as the world grew older ; but this is not borne out by facts. 
The Emperor Baber (a contemporary of Henry VII.) says, 
"They say in some islands about Hindostan, elephants grow 
to the height of ten gez [about twenty feet]. I have never 
seen one above four or five gez " [eight or ten feet]. 

The elephants from Hindostan are the smallest ; those from 
Pegu and Ava being larger, as a rule. A skeleton from the 
latter country was presented to the Czar Peter by the King 
of Persia ; and the taxidermist managed to give it a height, 
when mounted in the museum at St. Petersburg, of sixteen 
and a half feet. 

Among the natives of the elephant country, there are 
many curious superstitions concerning the age, death, and 
final resting-place of the great animal. The age to which 
they may possibly attain is a matter of conjecture. One 
hundred and fifty years is considered the limit by persons 


who are familiar with the subject. Expert native hunt- 
ers state that they live one hundred and twenty years, or 
average about eighty. Mr. Sanderson expresses the belief 
that they attain one hundred and fifty years, and bases his 
conclusions from his observations of the famous elephant 
Bheemruttee, owned by his Highness the Maharajah of My- 
sore. It was captured in Coorg in 1805, and was then a 
baby elephant three years old. In 1876 she was in her prime, 
and did not show any of the evidences of age evinced by ele- 
phants that were known to be advanced in years ; and, when 
it is remembered that in captivity the animals are often ill- 
fed and abused, it is evident that they may attain a great age. 
Natives can determine the age of an Asiatic elephant within 
a few years. They easily ascertain that of a young or very 
old animal, but those of middle age present more difficulties. 
The head of an old elephant is lean and rugged, the bones 
of the skull being prominent, the eyes and temples sunken ; 
while the fore-legs, instead of bulging out at the knees, 
present the same general size throughout. An old elephant 
also has a different gait from a young one : instead of putting 
the foot firmly upon the ground, the heel touches it first. 
The surest test to the native, however, is the ear, which is 
almost as conclusive a telltale as are the teeth of a horse. 
In elephants not older than seven years, the top of the ear is 
not turned over at the rim ; but, as they grow older, it begins 
to lap and curve, increasing with age ; and in very old ani- 
mals, the lower portion is always torn and jagged. Elephants 
attain their full growth at about twenty-five years of age, and 
are in full vigor at thirty-five. 

The Strologas, a tribe of the Billiga-rungun hills, assert 
and believe that the elephant never dies ; while the Kurrabas 


of Kakankote, and many others, are firm in the belief that 
they have some secret place to which they retire to die. 
When this idea is scouted as romance by a European, the 
native invariably asks, " Did you ever see a dead elephant ? 
Did you ever hear of any one who did ? " and the questioner 
and doubter is obliged generally to answer in the negative. 
Not only have few sportsmen found an elephant that had 
evidently died a natural death, but few natives have ever 
seen one. 

In all his rambles, covering nearly twenty years in the heart 
of the elephant country, Mr. Sanderson never found an ele- 
phant that had died a natural death, nor did he ever meet 
with a professional native elephant-hunter who had, except 
during an epidemic among the animals in the Chittagong 
forest. This seems extremely remarkable when it is remem- 
bered that, while the flesh might be devoured, the bones and 
tusks would last a long time. The same belief is entertained 
by the wild tribes of Ceylon. Sir Emerson Tennent says, 
" The natives generally assert that the body of a dead ele- 
phant is seldom or never discovered in the woods , and certain 
it is, that frequenters of the forest with whom I had con- 
versed, whether European or Singhalese, alike are consistent 
in their assurances that they have never found the remains 
of a dead elephant that had died a natural death. One chief, 
the Wanyyah of the Trincomalie district, told a friend of 
mine, that, once after a severe murrain which had swept the 
province, he found the carcasses of elephants that had died 
of the disease. On the other hand, a European gentleman, 
who for thirty-six years without intermission had been living 
in the jungle, ascending to the summits of mountains in the 
prosecution of the trigonometrical survey, and penetrating val- 


leys in tracing roads, and opening means of communication, 
— one, too, who lias made the habits of the wild elephant a sub- 
ject of constant study and observation, — has often expressed 
to me his astonishment that, after seeing many thousands of 
living elephants in all possible situations, he had never yet 
found a single skeleton of a dead one, except those which 
had fallen by a rifle." The Singhalese have a superstition in 
relation to the close of life in the elephant. They believe 
that, on feeling the approach of dissolution, he repairs to a 
solitary valley, and there resigns himself to death. A native 
who accompanied Mr. Cripps, when hunting in the forests of 
Anarajapoora, intimated to him that he was then in the 
immediate vicinity of the spot " to which the elephants come 
to die," but that it was so mysteriously concealed, that, 
although every one believed in its existence, no one had ever 
succeeded in penetrating it. At the corral of Kornegalle in 
1847, one of the Kandyan chiefs assured him that it was 
the universal belief of his countrymen, that the elephants, 
when about to die, resorted to a valley in an unknown spot 
among the mountains to the east of Adams Peak, which 
was reached by a narrow pass with Avails of rock on each 
side, and that here, by the side of a lake of clear water, they 
took their last repose. While this belief is held by some 
natives of Continental India, there is not a spot in the 
elephant country that has not been penetrated b}^ either 
Europeans or natives ; yet the latter are not convinced, and 
the mystery as to what becomes of the dead elephants is as 
deep as ever. The elephants that die in captivity are victims 
to the same troubles that affect all animals,, and the wild 
elephant is probably no exception. At the commissariat at 
Bengal, one hundred and fourteen elephants died in 1874-75. 


Eleven died of apoplexy, three of dysentery, five of inflam- 
mation of the lungs, thirteen of debility, one of cold, twenty- 
six of zahirbad, one of vomiting, three of colic, and one of 
congestion of the brain, — abundant proof to the supersti- 
tious native that the elephant is susceptible to dissolution. 
Ceylon elephants are remarkable for the numbers born with- 
out tusks. These are called mucknas, and differ in no other 
respect from the elephants of Continental India. They 
resemble ordinary females ; the tusks being extremely small, 
and useless as defence. Sometimes they are larger than 
ordinary tuskers ; but this may be mere accident, as is their 
dental defect, and it is not an hereditary trait. So rare is a 
good tusker in Ceylon, that one is looked upon as a curiosity. 
Sir Samuel Baker states that not over one in three hundred 
possessed them ; and to show the difference between these 
and the continental elephant, out of one hundred and forty, 
fifty-one of which were males, captured by Mr. Sanderson in 
Mysore, Bengal, in 1874-76, only five were mucknas, or tusk- 
less. We should expect to find theories at least to explain 
this strange difference in an adjoining country, where the cli- 
mate and food conditions are almost identical (the food in 
Ceylon is easier to obtain) ; but I am not aware that any of 
importance have been expressed. 

As large and powerful as the elephant is, it is easily dis- 
mayed and alarmed ; and many have an especial aversion to 
small animals. Thus, some elephants have a great dislike 
for small dogs; and a mouse has been known to cause a large 
tusker to snort with fear. Wild hogs are particularly dis- 
agreeable to the great animals, and it appears that this was 
known to the ancients; as Procopius, the historian of the 
Persian and Gothic wars, states that at the siege of Edessa 


by Chosroes, the king of Persia, in the time of Justinian, the 
besieged Greeks imitated the cry of the pig to frighten the 
elephants of the enemy. In fact, elephants are like other 
animals. They have their likes and dislikes ; and their 
alarm at a mouse, in justice to some of the human race, 
should not be used, as it often is, as an argument in proof 
of their supposed cowardice and lack of intelligence. 




IN determining the intelligence of an animal, we naturally 
take ourselves as the type of mental excellence, and grade 
the lower animals as they approach us. Some would place 
the ant next to man, arguing that it more closely resem- 
bles him in its habits, customs, and methods of showing 
what we consider the result of intelligent action. It keeps 
domestic animals (aphis'), goes to war in organized bodies, 
makes slaves of other insects, erects wonderful structures, is- 
accredited with planting seeds, and certainly stores them up 
after arranging them so that they cannot sprout ; in fact, 
appears to act in many ways like a rational human being : 
and, contrasted to it, the elephant, dog, horse, and beaver 
would seem to be comparatively stupid animals; at least, 
such would be the verdict of the observer who mistakes 
instinct for reason. Such a comparison seems unfair to 
the other animals mentioned ; and to argue that the ele- 
phant is not as intelligent as the ant because it does not 
build a house, and lay up a food-supply, would hardly be 
just, as the great proboscidian does not require such shel- 
ter: and, without instancing any more examples, it would 
appear, that, to establish the relative intelligence of an 
animal, it should be judged, not especially by the standard 


of another, but according to its displayal of what we term 
thought ; and this leads us to consider how thought may 
be exhibited in an animal. Instinctive action is some- 
thing that is done without appreciable thought: thus, a 
colt instinctively kicks at an enemy, as a kitten spits at 
a dog. The fear of this animal has been present in all the 
generations of cats, and is inherited, as shown by the protest 
in the curve of the back, the raising of the tail, and other 
familiar methods of expression. So we may, without multi- 
plying instances, consider that instinctive action is the out- 
ward expression of inherited experience, and has practically 
nothing in common with that action of the mind which we 
call thought. If this kitten when it grows older, — and I 
know of an instance, — should without instruction climb 
upon a door, and lift the latch, she would be exhibiting a 
practical illustration of the results of thought: in other 
words, she would lift the latch because she knew that the 
door could not be opened without it, and consequently had, 
in her feline mind, turned over to some extent the relations 
that existed between the latch, the door, and the object she 
had in view. So if the colt should go to a pump, as a cow 
is alleged to have done, and take the handle in its mouth 
without being taught, and pump water to drink, it would 
show that the animal had used its powers of thought. Now, 
what position does the elephant take in the scale of intelli- 
gence ? 

The Hindoos of the present day do not consider the 
elephant a remarkably intelligent animal. Yet at one time 
its sagacity was certainly appreciated, as the Hindoo god of 
wisdom is figured with the body of a man and the head of an 
elephant ; and A. W. Schlegel states that in very early times 


they marvelled at every thing about the animal, especially 
its sagacity, which made it seem to them the embodiment of 
the god Ganessa. 

Probably Dr. Dalton expresses the latest knowledge touch- 
ing this subject. He says, — 

" If we examine the comparative development of the hemi- 
spheres of the brain in different species of animals, and in 
different races of men, Ave shall find that the size of these 
ganglia corresponds very closely with the degree of intelli- 
gence possessed by the individual. . . . Among quadrupeds, 
the elephant has much the largest, and most perfectly formed, 
cerebrum, in proportion to the size of the entire body ; and, 
of all quadrupeds, he is proverbially the most intelligent 
and the most teachable. It is important to observe, in this 
connection, that the kind of intelligence which characterizes 
the elephant and some other of the lower animals, and which 
most nearly resembles that of man, is a teachable intelligence, 
— a very different thing from the intelligence which depends 
upon instinct, such as that of insects, for example, or birds of 

In a previous chapter I mentioned that Mr. H. H. Cross 
informed me that he had seen an elephant of the Barnum 
herd select a stick, and probe the small orifice in the temple. 
Since then I have seen a statement by Mr. Cross in print, to 
the effect that he has seen the elephant select a twig, examine 
it carefully with one of its keen little eyes, by holding it up 
in its trunk, and, if it found it was not sharp enough for the 
purpose, deliberately grind down the point by rubbing it 
upon a stone, and, when its shape suited him, use it to open 
the orifice. 

In Africa, according to Drummond, the wild elephants 


migrate south in time for certain fruits, which shows that 
they must remember the pleasures of the past season. The 
migration is not suggested by a lack of food, as the supply 
of mimosa and other trees does not give out. When a wild 
elephant takes a branch in its trunk, and uses it to brush 
away flies, it shows more intelligence than it is generally 
given credit for ; while its lodging dust and sand on its back 
to prevent the attack of these pests, is also to be considered 
an intelligent act. Elephants are extremely cautious, and 
this has been used as an argument against their intelligence. 
Sanderson says that the animal is stupid because the simplest 
fence is often sufficient to protect grain from them ; but I 
am inclined to think that this is owing to their extreme 
caution: the fence may have in their mind some association 
with the pitfall, or traps of some kind, which have been met 
in their experience. An elephant will rarely step upon a 
bridge that is not safe, and many instances could be cited 
showing that their protests and objections were founded 
upon an intelligent appreciation of danger. Sanderson says 
also that the elephant lacks originality : but the two instances 
I have mentioned, — namely, using a branch to brush off flies, 
and sharpening the stick, — will, I think, in the opinion of my 
young readers, free the great animal from this imputation ; 
and I do not recall many actions performed by wild animals, 
that show more appreciation of the practical application of 
cause and effect. The intelligence of the elephant has been 
a subject of varied appreciation. Many observers have con- 
sidered remarkable actions of elephants involuntary, when 
in truth they were merely obeying the commands of their 
riders or mahouts, who expressed their wishes by the press- 
ure of their legs, or by the voice, which was not seen or 





heard by the observer. When Tavernier was travelling with 
the Mahommedan army of the Mogul, he was astonished to 
see the elephants seize the little images which stood before 
the pagodas, and dash them to the ground. The Hindoos 
readily believed that the elephant did this from a religious 
aversion to the idols, but the traveller knew that the 
mahouts were secretly directing the great animals. So, in 
passing in review before the king, the elephants did not 
salute until coming to his majesty. 

Once when two elephants were at a spring, the largest 
violently seized a bucket carried by the smaller, and began to 
dip up water ; upon which the other elephant drew back, and 
butted its companion so that it fell headlong into the pool. 
This story is told to illustrate- the revengeful nature of the 
animal, when, in point of fact, the entire action was insti- 
gated by the mahout upon its back. The most remarkable 
trait of the elephant is its obedience : 'and if we were to take 
its aptitude to learn the tasks described in the chapter on 
trained elephants, as a test of intelligence, it would certainly 
hold its own among all animals ; as, considering that it is 
perhaps the most ungainly, and certainly the heaviest, of all 
land animals, its various feats are indeed remarkable. 

At the slightest pressure of its rider's foot it will salute, 
lift the trunk in the air, and trumpet loudly ; stop, back, lie 
down to enable the mahout to dismount, roll over, lift the 
man upon its trunk, pass over his body with the greatest 
ease, lift stones from the ground for the driver to throw at 
other elephants, and even tie itself up at night ; in fact, 
among all trained animals, dogs, horses, or birds, none com- 
pare with the elephant in their obedience, and intelligent 
appreciation of what is required. " Though playing 'possum " 


or feigning death can hardly be cited as an evidence of intel- 
ligence, it may be interesting to know that it is sometimes 
attempted by elephants. Sir Emerson Tennent was in- 
formed by Mr. Cripps that he was aware .of an instance 
where an elephant adopted this rnse to secure its freedom. 
It had been led into a corral between two tame elephants, 
and upon being released sank to the ground apparently life- 
less. Every attempt to revive it, or force it to show any 
evidence of life, failed ; and the natives believed that it had 
died of a broken heart,- — a term that they often apply when 
an elephant dies without apparent cause. Finally the body 
was abandoned as lifeless ; and, as soon as the hunters had 
gone a short distance, the wily brute regained its feet, and 
rushed for the jungle, screaming at the top of its voice ; its 
cries of evident delight being heard long after it had dis- 
appeared. In the various chapters of this work, other in- 
stances have been cited showing that, far from being a stupid 
animal, the elephant in its ivild state exhibits far more intel- 
ligence than the wild dog or horse ; and when we compare 
the animals after their so-called education, there is little that 
the trained dog can do that is not accomplished by the ele- 
phant ; and while it is difficult to draw exact lines, and point 
out the exact mental status of the elephant in the rank and 
file of the lower animals, I would place it well to the front 
among mammals. 

I am glad to be able to bring to the support of my belief 
in the superior intelligence of the elephant, the testimony of 
a naturalist and careful observer, Col. Nicholas Pike, late 
consul at Mauritius, whose extensive travels and long resi- 
dence in the East render his opinions of especial value and 
interest. The following" is Col. Pike's letter in answer 


to my request for an expression of his opinion upon the 
subject : — 

Mr. C. F. Holder. 

My dear Sir, — In answer to your questions as to my opinion relative 
to the intelligence of the elephant, I will jot down a few notes that may 
interest you. 

This animal is to my mind one of the most intelligent of the brute 
creation. I am led to this conclusion from what I have actually seen, 
and from reliable information given me by persons who have devoted a 
lifetime to studying their habits and life-history generally. I think that 
in elephants, as in other animals, — and we see even in man himself, — 
there is a great difference in the amount of intelligence they possess. 

A friend of mine, who owned many of these animals, placed an old 
tame male that appeared sick, in a pasture, where he had also some horses 
and sheep feeding, thinking it would recuperate " Dick," who was a great 
favorite. The whole pasture was well fenced in, and the gate was securely 
bolted. One morning when I was visiting my friend, we were surprised 
to see " Dick " let himself in by the back-gate ; and he warned us of his 
presence by trumpeting. His master went to him, and asked what he 
wanted. The beast at once took up a pitcher containing water which 
was near by, and poured some of it on the ground, attempting to sip a 
few drops of it with his trunk. His master, seeing what he wanted, gave 
him water, and told him to go back. Thinking the gate must have been 
left open, and perhaps the sheep and horses straying out, we followed, but 
to our surprise found the gate shut, and not only bolted, but the bolt 
turned up in the little slot so that it should not be easily opened. We 
waited, curious to see what Dick would do. As soon as he reached the 
gate, he deliberately moved the bolt, and passed into the field, then turn- 
ing round, he re-adjusted the bolt as well as I could have done it, and 
marched off contentedly to a favorite corner under some trees. 

I have seen my friend quietly call individuals by their name out of the 
herd ; and in one instance, a female, " Maggie," w y as called, and told to 
take me on her back, which she did, helping me up carefully with her 
trunk. I have seen an elephant draw a cork from a bottle of claret, and 
drink the contents without spilling a drop. I saw four or five called 


singly by name from their grazing-ground, form in line, and bow, and 
kneel before a group of ladies, and then march back in as regular order 
at the word of command as a file of soldiers. 

Hundreds of elephants are employed in the government service in the 
three presidencies of India, — Calcutta, Bombay and Madras. They go 
through a regular routine, and know their hours for work and recreation 
as well as the man who watches the clock. When the bell sounds in the 
morning, they take up their line of march, to the lumber-yards for in- 
stance, where vast piles of beams and planks are stored. As soon as they 
arrive, each takes up his work, left from the day before. Great logs and 
beams are rolled along by the aid of the trunk, and, when near the pile, 
are lifted, two elephants to each beam, and hoisted into place, when they 
walk round and adjust their work with as much precision as a man would 
use with a plumb-line. When the usual hour for quitting work arrives, 
nothing can induce the creatures to go on ; and you can't fool them on the 
time either, by ringing the bell late. Off they go to get their afternoon 
bath, where they will lie and wallow in the muddy water for hours. 
Their varied works require cute intelligence, not mere instinct, any more 
than you can attribute the good paving of a roadway by a poor laborer, 
who knows his business, though he may not be able to read or write, to 

A circumstance was related to me by my friend, Gen. E. W. de Lan- 
sing Lowe, who was all through the campaign in India during the Sepoy 
rebellion. He said he had a very intelligent elephant that he constantly 
rode on, and as it was so hot they mostly travelled morning and evening. 
During the war, they came about the dusk of evening to a small bridge 
that spanned a deep ravine with water at the bottom. As soon as the 
elephant came to this bridge, no inducement could make him cross it. 
After some delay, finding all persuasion useless, the general determined 
to examine the structure. They found the enemy had cut away the sup- 
ports of the bridge ; and, had the elephant stepped on to it, the whole 
party would have been precipitated into the gulf below. 

We have a notable instance of the sagacity of these animals at the 
time Barnum's circus was in Bridgeport a few years ago. A fire broke 
out in sonic sheds adjoining the tents, and it was feared the stables would 
catch the flames. They began to pull down the sheds, when some one 


suggested to bring out two elephants. This was done, and the animals 
set to with a will to pull down the place. They evidently at once took 
in the situation. They not only tore down the place, but threw the tim- 
bers so that they should not touch the tents, and beat out the flames. 
Now, if this does not show almost human reason, what does? They 
were put to the work on the spur of the moment, and not only performed 
it as if used to it, but actually did it more intelligently than many men 
would have done in such perilous circumstances. Had they not done so, 
as water was short, the loss of life to man and beast, and of property, 
might have been enormous. 

If you could only interview Barnum, he could tell you more of the 
intelligence of the elephant than any man living. 

I could relate numerous other incidents I have seen and been informed 
of; but enough has been said, I think, to prove how highly I think of the 
intelligence, sagacity, or whatever other name you may give it, of this 
unwieldly pachyderm. 1 


1 See Plate II. for a view of elephant moving timber. 




IN one of the old Chinese histories, there is a description 
of a curious creature called tyn-sc7iu, supposed to be a 
subterranean, rat-like animal. It lived, according to the old 
chroniclers, entirely beneath the ground ; was as large as an 
ox ; and had enormous tusks, with which it threw up the 
soil, or made its burrows ; and the rumbling of earthquakes 
was attributed to them. This was naturally considered a 
fable by Europeans, but finally an English traveller was 
shown a piece of the tusk. He found it to be ivory, and 
suspected that the strange animal was a mammoth, as 
indeed was the case. The bodies of these elephantine 
giants were found in the far North, buried in the tundra ; 
and the simple Chinamen believed that they lived there, 
and on their return from trading-trips told the story in the 
South ; and thus it became a part of their curious and, it 
is needless to say, erroneous history. 

The mammoth may rightly be considered the king of all 
elephants, and in general appearance it much resembled the 
African species. The full adult may have been a third more 
bulky than the largest existing elephants, and undoubtedly 
weighed at least twice as much. To protect them from the 
cold, they were covered with hair, which gave them a fero- 


Page 3 b- 



TlLbtN ¥ -JlA<k> i'l'J. S 



cious appearance. The hair was of three kinds : first there 
was a thick coat of reddish wool ; over this grew a coat of 
long, thick hair ; while upon the neck was a heavy mane. 
The tusks of the mammoth were enormous : some measured 
thirteen feet in length; and, curved in a circle, gave the 
animal a strange and formidable appearance. 

While the mammoth greatly resembled the African ele- 
phant, there are some points of difference. The skull is 
narrower at the summit, and the molar teeth have great 
breadth of crown as compared to the length : the ridges also 
are narrow and crowded, while the enamel is thin and 
straight, the crimping that is seen in others being absent. 
The molars number, as in other elephants, eight, at one 
time present ; or, one and a portion of another one each side 
of both jaws. 

This huge elephant flourished principally in the far North ; 
and, as its remains are nowJxnmd in. the greatest abundance 
on the shores of the Arctic Sea, it must have existed in vast 
herds. The majority of specimens discovered are buried in 
the soil, that is now frozen the year round in a solid mass 
for many feet. The finest specimen known is a skeleton in 
the museum at St. Petersburg ; the original having been 
discovered in 1799 by a poor fisherman named Schumachoff, 
a Tongoose, who every spring followed down the Lena River 
that led into the Arctic Sea. One day while engaged in fol- 
lowing his vocation, he observed on the side of a tundra a 
shapeless mass, appearing like some huge monster entombed. 
The following year he returned to the same locality, and 
found that the object had weathered out still more, and was 
a mammoth — a veritable frozen giant. Still, he could not 
claim the fine tusks ; and another year passed, and then his 


family were so superstitious that they refused to consent to 
his again visiting the strange animal that he had described. 
But finally, five j^ears after his first trip, he determined to 
again visit the scene of his discovery. He sailed down the 
river in his small boat, and, with mingled emotions of fear 
and curiosity, approached the imprisoned monster. Raising 
his eyes on reaching the spot, he saw a great cavity in the 
cliff, but the mammoth was'gone. The ice had melted away, 
but beneath where the giant had rested lay the enormous 
body. The tusks were still intact; and Schumachoff carried 
them South in triumph, where he realized fifty rubles from 
the sale, leaving the body — which, wonderful to relate, was 
as fresh as if the animal had died only a week before — to 
the bears and wolves. 

We could hardly expect a poor fisherman to know that it 
was a valuable scientific discovery, and it was only by accident 
that the story of the strange animal reached the scientific 
world. Seven years later a Mr. Adams visited the spot, 
where he found the mammoth still in the flesh, with the ex- 
ception of the fore-leg ; and, even after this lapse of time, its 
preservation was remarkable. The pupil of the eye was still 
intact ; and the brain rested in the cranium, the tissues being 
so perfect that they could hardly be distinguished from those 
of a living animal. During the interim between its fall upon 
the beach and Mr. Adams's visit, it had attracted numbers of 
wild animals, — bears, foxes, etc., — that devoured much of the 
meat, that had been preserved for perhaps thousands of years. 
The neck of the animal was still covered with a long mane ; 
and next to the skin was a thick brown wool, that was evi- 
dently very valuable as a protection against the severe cold. 
Much of the hair and wool of the huge creature was ground 


into the soil, but thirty pounds of this reddish wool was 
recovered. Mr. Adams purchased the tusks, which were 
nine feet in length ; and finally the entire skeleton was 
removed to St. Petersburg, where it may still be seen. 

From the description and measurements of the skeleton, 
Professor Ward has made a restoration of this ancient siant, 
which gives a striking idea of the grandeur of its appearance. 
(See Plate III.) 

Dr. Pallas was the first to describe the mammoth with 
scientific accuracy; and Blumenbach gave it its present 
name, Elephas primigejiius. In the northern countries it 
ranged the forests at one time in vast numbers, being espe- 
cially common in England and Wales, where its remains are 
generally found in caves and river-deposits. In Yorkshire 
and Wales it was evidently followed by hyenas, that dragged 
its bones into the caves. W. Boyd Dawkins says, that, in the 
spring of 1866, he accompanied Mr. Antonio Brady to the 
Uphall pit, England, and describes his finds as follows : — 

" At the top, there was the surface-soil from one to three 
feet deep ; then an irregularly stratified layer of brick-earth 
and gravel six feet ; and lastly, an irregular layer of flint 
gravel, underneath which was a fine reddish gray sandy loam, 
four feet thick. All these had been cleared away, leaving 
a platform exposed, on which was a most remarkable accu- 
mulation of bones carefully left in situ by the workmen. 
On the right hand was a huge tusk of mammoth, eight feet 
long, with the spiral curvature undisturbed by the pressure 
of the superadjacent strata. Across it lay a remarkably fine 
antler of red deer. At a little distance was the frontal por- 
tion of the skull of a urus, with its horn-cores perfect to the 
very tips ; while around, bones of various animals were scat- 


tered, — of the Rhinoceros hemitoechus, mammoth, urus, horse, 
either brown or grisly bear, and wolf. As we gazed down 
on this tableau, we could not doubt for a moment that the 
bottom of an ancient river with all its contents lay before 
our eyes, — a river in which all these animals had been 
drowned, and by which they had been swept into the exact 
position which they then occupied. This inference was con- 
firmed by the examination of. the thin layer of sandy gravel 
on which they rested , for it Avas full of the shells of Corbic- 
ula fluminalis, with the valves together just as in life. 
There were also specimens of the common anodon of our 
rivers, and of the Helix nemoralis of our hedge-rows. On a 
continuation of the same platform, now cut away, the skull 
of a mammoth was discovered in 1864, perfect, with the 
exception of the tusks, which had been broken away, with 
their incisive alveoli. That of the right side lay twenty feet 
away from the skull, while the left has not yet been discov- 
ered. Owing to the surprising skill of Mr. Davies, the skull 
and tusk were taken up and re-united, and now constitute by 
far the finest specimen of mammoth in the British Museum. 
In some cases, the mammoth remains have not been deposited 
by a river. At Lexden, near Colchester, as the Rev. O. 
Fisher well observes, they were overwhelmed in a bog, the 
small bones of the feet being found in their natural position, 
a fact which shows that they sank feet foremost through the 
peat into the subjacent clay." 

That the sea has greatly encroached upon the land of 
England, and that the old grazing-grounds of the mammoth 
are now under water, is evident from the fact that the teeth 
of elephants are often dredged up by fishermen ; and ivory- 
hunters in some localities have literally fished for these teeth 


with drag-nets. A tusk dredged at Scarborough was as 
fresh as when the animal was alive, and was cut up and used 
for the various purposes to which ivory is put. 

In its day, the mammoth also wandered through the forests 
of France, and to the south as far as Rome. Portions of 
its skeleton have been found in the volcanic gravel of Ponte 
Molle and Monte Sacro, a fact showing that it flourished 
here when the site of Rome was a bed of lava that flowed 
from the volcanoes of Central Italy. 

Germany was a famous grazing-ground for the mammoth. 
At Seilberg near Constadt on the Necker, a heap of thirteen 
tusks and teeth were found " heaped close upon each other," 
as if they had been packed artificially. A like find was 
made in the village of Thiede, four miles south of Bruns- 
wick : in a heap of soil ten feet square, there were found 
eleven tusks, one eleven and another fourteen and three- 
quarters feet long ; thirty molar teeth, and numbers of large 
bones; "mixed with these were the bones and teeth of rhi- 
noceros, horse, ox, and stag ; they all lay mixed confusedly 
together ; none of them were rolled or much broken ; and 
the teeth, for the most part, separate and without the jaws : 
there were also some horns of stag." 

The borders of the Arctic were, however, the favorite 
pasturage for these giants ; and the store of ivory there may 
be said to be practically inexhaustible, though the trade in 
the tusks has been going on with the Jakuti and Tungusians 
from time immemorial. 

The Siberian islands are a favorite locality for collectors, 
where the tusks have been found protruding from the sand 
in vast numbers. After Adams, the most valuable find was 
made by Dr. Middendorf, a famous Siberian explorer, in 


1843. It was discovered in latitude 66° 30', between the Obi 
and Yenesei, near the Arctic circle. Shortly after, the body 
of a young one was found in a bed of sand and gravel fifteen 
feet or so above the sea, near the river Taimyr ; and in the 
former the eye was so perfectly preserved, that the bulb, 
now in the St. Petersburg museum, looks as though it had 
been taken from a recent animal. 

One of the most interesting mammoth discoveries in late 
years was made by a young Russian engineer named Ben- 
kendorf, who was employed in 1846 by the government to 
survey the coast off the mouth of the Lena and Indigirka 
rivers. The discovery is of such great interest and value, 
that I give it in his own words, the account being an 
abstract from a letter written to a friend in Germany : — 

" In 1846 there was unusually warm weather in the north 
of Siberia. Already in May unusual rains poured over the 
moors and bogs, storms shook the earth, and the streams 
carried not only ice to the sea, but also large tracts of land 
thawed by the masses of warm water fed by the southern 
rains. . . . We steamed on the first favorable day up the 
Indigirka, but there were no thoughts of land : we saw 
around us only a sea of dirty brown water, and knew the 
river only by the rushing and roaring of the stream. The 
river rolled against us trees, moss, and large masses of peat, 
so that it was only with great trouble and danger that we 
could proceed. At the end of the second day, we were only 
about forty Aversts up the stream. Some one had to stand 
with the sounding-rod in hand continually, and the boat 
received so many shocks that it shuddered to the keel. A 
wooden vessel would have been smashed. Around us we 
saw nothing but the flooded land. For eight days we met 


with the like hinderances, until at last we reached the place 
where our Jakuti were to have met us. Farther up was a 
place called Ujandina, whence the people were to have come 
to us ; but they were not there, prevented evidently by the 
floods. As we had been here in former years, we knew the 
place. But how it had changed! The Indigirka, here about 
three wersts wide, had torn up the land, and worn itself a 
fresh channel ; and, when the waters sank, we saw, to our 
astonishment, that the old river-bed had become merely that 
of an insignificant stream. This allowed me to cut through 
the soft earth ; and we went reconnoitring up the new stream, 
which had worn its way westward. Afterwards we landed 
on the new shore, and surveyed the undermining and destruc- 
tive operation of the wild waters, that carried away, with 
extraordinary rapidity, masses of soft peat and loam. It 
was then that we made a wonderful discovery. The land on 
which we were treading was moorland, covered thickly with 
young plants. Many lovely flowers rejoiced the eye in the 
warm beams of the sun, that shone for tAventy-two out of 
the twenty-four hours. The stream rolled over, and tore up 
the soft, wet ground like chaff: so that it was dangerous to 
go near the brink. While we were all quiet, we suddenly 
heard under our feet a sudden gurgling and stirring, which, 
betrayed the working of the disturbed water. Suddenly our 
jager, ever on the lookout, called loudly, and pointed to a 
singular and unshapely object, which rose and sank through 
the disturbed waters. I had already remarked it, but not 
given it any attention, considering it only drift-wood. Now 
Ave all hastened to the spot on the shore, had the boat drawn 
near, and waited until the mysterious thing should again 
sIioav itself. Our patience Avas tried: but at last, a black, 


horrible, giant-like mass was thrust out of the water ; and we 
beheld a colossal elephant's head, armed with mighty tusks, 
with its long trunk moving in the water in an unearthly man- 
ner, as though seeking for something lost therein. Breathless 
with astonishment, I beheld the monster hardly twelve feet 
from me, with his half-open eyes yet showing the whites. It 
was still in good preservation. 

'"A mammoth ! a mammoth ! ' broke out the Tschernomori ; 
and I shouted, ' Here, quickly ! chains and ropes ! ' I will 
go over our preparations for securing the giant animal, whose 
body the water was trying to tear from us. As the animal 
again sank, we waited for an opportunity to throw the ropes 
over his neck. This was only accomplished after many 
efforts. For the rest we had no cause for anxiety ; for, after 
examining the ground, I satisfied myself that the hind-legs 
of the mammoth still stuck in the earth, and that the waters 
would work for us to unloosen them. We therefore fastened 
a rope round his neck, threw a chain round his tusks, that 
were eight feet long, drove a stake into the ground about 
twenty feet from the shore, and made chain and rope fast to 
it. The day went by quicker than I thought for ; but still, 
the time seemed long before the animal was secured, as it 
was only after the lapse of twenty-four hours that the water 
had loosened it. But the position of the animal was inter- 
esting to me : it was standing in the earth, and not lying on 
its side or back as a dead animal naturally would, indicating, 
by this, the manner of its destruction. The soft peat or 
marsh land, on which he stepped thousands of years ago, 
gave way under the weight of the giant ; and he sank as he 
stood on it, feet foremost, incapable of saving himself ; and 
a severe frost came, and turned him into ice and the moor 


which had buried him. The latter, however, grew and flour- 
ished, every summer renewing itself. Possibly the neighbor- 
ing stream had heaped over the dead body plants and sand. 
God only knows what causes had worked for its preservation. 
Now, however, the stream had brought it once more to the 
light of day ; and I, an ephemera of life compared with this 
primeval giant, was sent here by Heaven just at the right 
time to welcome him. You can imagine how I jumped for 


" During our evening meal, our posts announced strangers : 
a troop of Jakuti came on their fast, shaggy horses ; they 
were our appointed people, and were very joyful at sight of 
us. Our company was augmented by them to about fifty 
persons. On showing them our wonderful capture, they 
hastened to the stream ; and it was amusing to hear how 
they chattered and talked over the sight. The first day I 
left them in quiet possession ; but when, on the following, 
the ropes and chains gave a great jerk, a sign that the mam- 
moth was quite freed from the earth, I commanded them to 
use their utmost strength, and bring the beast to land. At 
length, after much hard work, in which the horses were 
extremely useful, the animal was brought to land ; and we 
were able to roll the body about twelve feet from the shore. 
The decomposing effect of the warm air filled us all with 

" Picture to yourself an elephant with a body covered with 
thick fur, about thirteen feet in height, and fifteen in length, 
with tusks eight feet long, thick, and curving outward at 
their ends, a stout trunk of six feet in length, colossal limbs 
of one and a half feet in thickness, and a tail, naked up to 
the end, which was covered with thick, tufty hair. The 


animal was fat, and well grown. Death had overtaken him 
in the fulness of his powers. His parchment-like, large, 
naked ears lay fearfully turned up over the head. About 
the shoulders and the back he had stiff hair, about a foot in 
length, like a mane. The long, outer hair was deep brown, 
and coarsely rooted. The top of the head looked so wild, 
and so penetrated with pitch (und mit Pech so durchgedrung- 
eri), that it resembled the rind of an old oak-tree. On the 
sides it was cleaner (reiner) ; and under the outer hair, there 
appeared everywhere a wool, very soft, warm, and thick, and 
of a fallow-brown color. The giant was well protected 
against the cold. The whole appearance of the animal was 
fearfully strange and wild. It had not the shape of our 
present elephants. As compared with our Indian elephants, 
its head was rough, the brain-case low and narrow, but the 
trunk and mouth were much larger. The teeth were very 
powerful. Our elephant is an awkward animal ; but, com- 
pared with this mammoth, it is as an Arabian steed to a 
coarse, ugly dray-horse. I could not divest myself of a feel- 
ing of fear as I approached the head. The broken, widely 
open eyes gave the animal an appearance of life, as though 
it might move in a moment, and destroy us with a roar. . . . 
The bad smell of the body warned us that it was time to 
save of it what we could ; and the swelling flood, too, bid us 
hasten. First of all, we cut off the tusks, and sent them to 
the cutter. Then the people tried to hew the head off; but, 
notwithstanding their good will, this was slow work. As 
the belly of the animal was cut open, the intestines rolled 
out ; and then the smell was so dreadful, that I could not 
overcome my nauseousness, and was obliged to turn away. 
But I had the stomach separated, and brought on one side. 


It was well filled, and the contents instructive and well pre- 
served. The principal were young shoots of the fir and 
pine : a quantity of young fir-cones, also in a chewed state, 
were mixed with the mass. ... As we were eviscerating the 
animal, I was as careless and forgetful as my Jakuti, who 
did not notice that the ground was sinking under their feet, 
until a fearful scream warned me of their misfortune, as I 
was still groping in the animal's stomach. Shocked, I sprang 
up, and beheld how the river was burying in its waves our 
five Jakuti and our laboriously saved beast. Fortunately 
the boat was near, so that our poor work-people were all 
saved ; but the mammoth was swallowed up by the waves, 
and never more made its appearance." 

This mammoth had undoubtedly strayed into a morass, 
and been ingulfed ; and soon after, or before the body had 
an opportunity to decay, it had frozen up, to be released 
again ages after by an unusual thaw. 

The most recent mammoth-hunt has been made by Dr. 
Bunge, who instituted a search along the Lena delta, finding, 
I believe, but one specimen, which was without its head and 
one fore-leg. It had been exposed for ten years to the attack 
of foxes, native dogs, and the natives themselves, and was 
well-nigh ruined. 

The mammoth was not confined to the Old World. Vast 
quantities of bones have been found in Escholtz Bay in a 
peaty deposit that rests on a cliff of pure blue ice, and in 
various parts of America. As to the causes that led to its 
extinction, they are equally problematical. In Kentucky, 
Ohio, and Central North America, there would seem to have 
been every thing to favor its continuance, — an abundance of 
food, and vast areas to range upon. The one agency that 


might have produced its extermination is the one now at 
work upon its ally in Africa, namely, man. There is little 
doubt that the early Americans chased the great animal, and, 
hunted from one part of the country to another, they finally 
entirely disappeared. 














H 3 







THOUGH to-day we look to Asia and Africa for elephants, 
and consider the huge proboscidians as extremely un- 
American, they originally roamed this country in vast herds, 
and were as common on our plains and prairies as are many 
animals of the present day. The mastodon, in the estima- 
tion of many naturalists, existed up to five hundred years 
ago ; and, judging from the apparent freshness of the remains, 
there is no great objection to the belief. They were undoubt- 
edly hunted by the ancestors of the mound-builders and early 
tribes ; and, while other agencies may have aided in their 
extermination, the aboriginal hunter was an all-powerful 
factor, the result being no more remarkable than that going 
on at present in the extermination of the bison. What sights 
the early American boys and girls must have witnessed, 
assuming this to have been the case ! The mighty masto- 
dons, with their huge bodies and pillar-like legs, presented 
a far more impressive spectacle than the largest elephant of 
to-day ; and when a captive giant was brought in, or found 
mired in a bog, what shouts and cries arose from these chil- 
dren, perhaps, of the mound-builders ! 

The tusks of the mastodon were marvels of beauty. Those 
of some species were straight, turning only at the tips: others 


had three tusks, two in the upper jaw, and one in the lower, 
the latter ordinarily of small size, though occasionally they 
attained large dimensions. Some individuals had four of 
these ivory weapons, giving them a strange and ferocious 

The discovery that mastodons existed in America at one 
time, was made over a hundred years ago. In 1714 Dr. 
Cotton Mather of Boston forwarded a paper to the Royal 
Society of London, describing some mastodon bones, and 
endeavoring to prove that they were those of some giant 
mentioned in Holy Writ. The mastodon he referred to was 
discovered near Albany in 1705 ; and some of the grinders, 
or teeth, weighed four pounds. Thirty-five years later, a 
French officer, named Longueil, while travelling through 
what is now the State of Ohio, found near the Ohio River 
in a swamp a number of bones and tusks. Some of these 
were carried to Paris. In 1763 Mr. George Croghan, an 
Englishman, made a valuable find of mastodon remains near 
the celebrated Big Bone Lick of Kentucky. It was esti- 
mated that the finds represented the remains of thirty indi- 
viduals. Some of the tusks which were found about six feet 
from the surface were seven feet in length. 

The next important discovery was made on the Walkill 
River, about seventy miles from New York, by the Rev. 
Robert Annan. The bones were found in digging a ditch ; 
and, from their position, it was evident that the huge animal 
had died standing, or had been mired, and so met its death. 
In 1805 Bishop Madison of Virginia communicated to "The 
Scientific World " the discovery of some mastodon bones that 
were found about five feet beneath the ground. This find 
was extremely interesting and valuable ; as with the body, or 


in a position which represented the stomach of one of the 
skeletons, was found a mass of ground and bruised vegeta- 
tion, which upon analysis showed that it was made up of 
grass, shrubs, and leaves, and of a species of rose still grow- 
ing in Virginia. The Indians, who, it seems, made the dis- 
covery, stated that among these there was one that flesh still 
adhered to, and that it had a long nose. 

Quite a number of Indian tribes have traditions concerning 
animals with a long nose, or trunk. The most familiar is that 
of the Delaware tribe, and the following is the statement 
that the natives claim to have been handed down by their 
ancestors : " That in ancient times a herd of these tremen- 
dous animals came to the Big Bone Licks, and began a 
universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, buffaloes, and 
other animals, which had been created for the use of the 
Indians ; that the Great Man above, looking down, and see- 
ing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning, descended 
on the earth, seated himself on a neighboring mountain on a 
rock, on which his seat and the print of his feet are still to 
be seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole were 
slaughtered, except the big bull, who, presenting his forehead 
to the shafts, shook them off as they fell ; but, missing one 
at length, it wounded him in the side ; whereon, springing 
round, he bounded over the Ohio, over the Wabash, the 
Illinois, and finally over the Great Lakes, where he is living 
at this day." 

Mastodon tusks and remains have been unearthed in 
various parts of the State of California, showing that the 
huge elephants roamed over the entire continent just as the 
African elephant originally did on that continent. In Cali- 
fornia the remains of the mastodon have been found associ- 


ated with human bones, stone implements, the remains of 
the elephant, tapir, bison, and modern horse. Mr. Stickney, 
the well-known Indian agent, states that "particular persons 
in every nation were selected as the repositories of their 
history and traditions; that these persons had others who 
were younger, selected for this- purpose continually, and re- 
peatedly instructed in those things which were handed down 
from generation to generation ; and that there was a tradi- 
tion among the Indians of the existence of the mastodon; 
that they were often seen ; that they fed on the boughs of 
a species of lime-tree : and that they did nut lie down, but 
leaned against a tree to sleep." 

Some tribes are familiar with such remains, and call them 
" fathers of oxen." and state that they lived long years ago 
with a race of gigantic men, and that the Great Spirit killed 
them all with fire-bolts. 

According to Dr. Barton, in 1761 there were found by 
Indians in this country five huge carcasses with long noses 
above their mouths: but this lacks satisfactory proof. In 
some of the ancient carvings in Mexico and Yucatan, es- 
pecially those at Palenque, representations of an elephant's 
head are to be seen ; and it is assumed that the artists must 
have been acquainted with the animals, or have had some 
tradition concerning them. Mr. Latrobe relates that " near 
the city of Tezcuco, one of the ancient roads or causeways 
was discovered ; and on one side, only three feet below the 
surface, in what may have been the ditch of the road, there 
lay the entire skeleton of a mastodon. It bore every ap- 
pearance of having been coeval with the period when the 
road was used." An old Mexican hieroglyphic represents a 
sacrificing priest with head covered with a casque, in which 


the head of an animal bearing a striking resemblance to the 
elephant may be seen. The trunk is too distinct and plain 
to be an accidental resemblance ; and the artist did not have 
the tapir in view when he produced it, the head being decid- 
edly elephantine. 

Professor Holmes found the bones of the mastodon associ- 
ated with pottery on the banks of the Ashley River, near 
Charleston, S.C. ; and. in the majority of these cases, the mas- 
todon's remains were discovered very near the surface. Pro- 
fessor "Winchell states that he has himself " seen the bones 
of the mastodon and elephant embedded in peat, at depths 
so shallow that he could readily believe the animals to have 
occupied the country during its possession by the Indians." 
The so-called elephant-mound, referred to in these pages, 
is considered by some as evidence that the mastodon was a 
familiar form to the early American ; so with the Indian 
pipes (Plate XVIII.) . If they are intended to represent 
elephants, which one can hardly doubt, the maker must 
either have seen the mastodon, or have had it accurately 
described to him. Quite recently some tracks, presumably 
those of the mastodon or elephant, have been discovered on 
the surface of a sandstone quarry at Carson City, in Nevada. 
They represent a series of circular depressions from three to 
six inches in depth, each about twenty inches in diameter, 
which, according to the method of measuring the height of 
elephants in India, would give an elephant ten feet high. 
The impressions have been traced for forty feet, and show 
distinct footprints giving a stride of about five feet eight 

The largest find ever made in this countrv. with the ex- 
ception perhaps of the vast collection at the Big Bone Lick, 


Kentucky, was that at Warren, N.J., in 1845, where no less 
than six almost perfect skeletons were found six feet below 
the surface. A farmer discovered them while digging out 
mud from a small swamp ; and, as most of the huge creatures 
were standing upright, it is evident that they became mired 
in the bog, and slowly sank into it. We can imagine the 
scene when these six monsters were entrapped, — their trum- 
peting, their roars of rage and fear, their mighty struggles to 
escape, that, with their combined weight, only served to mire 
them deeper and deeper, until they finally disappeared, to 
remain entombed for untold ages, and to be finally found, and 
placed in our museums and halls of science as monuments of 
a lost race. 

Nearly all the mastodons are found in swamps, showing 
that possibly these morasses appeared to be veritable traps 
that hastened the extinction of these monarchs of the forest. 
This may be considered the popular theory of one method 
by which mastodons were destroyed: but there is no better 
authority than Professor James Hall, the present geologist in 
chief of the State of New York; and his opinions are en- 
tirely different. His views are, that the extinction of the 
mastodon was hastened by the glacial period, and that most 
of the remains discovered have been dropped in hollows or 
ponds, from the ice perhaps, and the peat formed over them. 
He advances in favor of this the fact that several tusks have 
been discovered which show evidences of glacial action. 
There is such a tusk in the collection of the Philadelphia 
Academy of Sciences, worn by supposed glacial action ; and 
Kutgers College has the extremity of a tusk, showing what 
is considered by Professor Hall to be glacial stride. 

Referring to the Big Bone Lick, Professor Hall says, 


" With our present knowledge, it would appear that this ac- 
cumulation of bones, teeth, and tusks of mastodon, in Ken- 
tucky, may have been caused by the melting of a glacier in 
which they had become embedded, and, being gradually 
pushed forward to its southern limit, had been deposited in 
this place. There are other similar localities of less impor- 
tance and extent, where mastodon remains have been ob- 
tained in considerable numbers; and it is not improbable that 
a critical examination of all known collections may furnish 
some further evidence of conditions similar to those indicated 
by the specimens in the Museums of the Philadelphia 
Academy of Sciences and of Rutgers College. 

" However heterodox these views may appear, as opposed 
to the generally received opinions of the age and relations of 
the mastodon, I feel quite sure that some other hypothesis 
than the one usually entertained must be adopted in order to 
arrive at a satisfactory explanation of the mode and condi- 
tions of distribution and inhumation of the mastodon and 
fossil elephant remains of this country. 

"In advocating this opinion regarding the extermination of 
the mastodon, I have reference to the remains as they have 
come under my own observation : and I do not mean to be 
understood as opposing in toto, the views so generally enter- 
tained, that the mastodon has existed during the present 
epoch; or that the opinion held by some of our scientists, 
that the animal may have existed both before and since the 
glacial period, is untenable. I refer only to the phenomena 
usually accompanying these remains, and the conditions at- 
tending- those which have been exhumed within the State of 
New York and adjacent parts of New Jersey, and to some 
extent in other parts of the country. The locality of Big 


Bone Lick in Kentucky, which has furnished the fragmentary 
parts of so many skeletons (and some other Western locali- 
ties), I have not visited ; but the evidence already given in 
relation to the bones from this place, indicates very clearly 
that they had suffered from glacial action; and the animals 
were, as we infer, of the glacial period." 

On the great Osage River, the mastodons were sunk in the 
mud in a vertical position. Perhaps the most interesting find 
in New-York State was what is known as the Cohoes mas- 
todon. In the fall of I860 a number of workmen were em- 
ployed in excavating the foundation for the Harmony Mills 
Company, in Cohoes; ami after much labor, during which 
several thousand loads of muck or peaty soil, and old trunks 
of trees, had been removed, one of the men discovered the 
jaw-bone of some gigantic animal. The bone was found al- 
most at the water-level, and at a depth of twenty-five feet be- 
low the surface; the entire locality being clay and earth, which 
formerly had been filled in to cover a swampy depression. 

The report of the find was conveyed to Professor James 
Hall, who immediately undertook the superintendence of the 
search. He soon saw that the locality had at one time been 
the bed of the river, and that the remains were evidently in 
a vast pot-hole, — a circular pit often seen in the rock-borders 
of rivers at the present day. The discovery of the jaw 
pointed to the assumption that the entire skeleton could not 
be far off, and careful search was immediately commenced. 
Loads of refuse, old trunks of trees showing the imprint of 
beavers' teeth, broken slate, water-worn pebbles, were re- 
moved, and finally, in the bottom of the great pot-hole, upon 
a mass of material similar to that which had been taken out, 
covered with river-ooze and vegetable soil, the principal 


parts of the great mastodon were found. First, the bones of 
the hind-legs appeared, and a portion of the pelvis ; and 
against the sloping wall reclined the massive head with tusks 
complete, unbroken and undisturbed ; then followed many 
of the other portions of the skeleton, all lodged in a pot-hole 
of great depth. Sixty feet were explored without finding 
bottom; and the supposition was, that the animal had in some 
way been caught in a glacier, and gradually melted out as 
the great mass of ice slowly moved down over the face of the 
country, dropping it into this natural tomb. This complete 
skeleton (Plate V.) was presented to the cabinet of the 
State Museum at Albany, and is now on exhibition there, 
one of the finest specimens in existence. Its dimensions 
are as follows : — 

FT. IN. 

Length in a direct line . . . . . . . 14 3 

Length following the curve of the spinal column . . 20 6 

Width of the thorax at the seventh rib . . . .3 5^ 

Elevation of the crest of the scapula . . . .84 

Elevation of the crest of the pelvis . . . .84 

Elevation of the head . . . . . . .8 11 

Elevation of the spine of the second dorsal vertebra . 8 10 

Elevation of the spine of the eighth dorsal vertebra . 9 3 

In some of the mastodons found, remains of food have been 
discovered between the ribs : thus it has been determined 
that the huge creature existed when the country appeared 
much as it does to-day. The Mastodon giganteus fed upon 
the spruce and fir trees. The mastodons wandered over 
almost every country known, and their remains are very 
common in South America. Humboldt found them as far 
north as Santa Fe de Bogota, and they have been discovered 


as far south as Buenos Ayres. Their range in South America 
has been given from five degrees north to about thirty-seven 
degrees south ; and they were probably not restricted to this 

Like the elephants of the present day, they wandered to 
great elevations, even up to the borders of perpetual snow ; 
and a tooth described by Cuvier was obtained by Humboldt, 
in a volcano, at an elevation of seventy-two hundred feet 
above the level of the sea. A fine collection of these South- 
American mastodons is exhibited in the museum at Santiago. 
They were found by a party of men in an attempt to drain 
Lake Tagua in the province of Colchagua, about one hun- 
dred miles south of Santiago, sixty from the Pacific, and 
fourteen hundred feet above the sea. A ditch was cut, to 
drain off the water; and, after it had been drawn off, the re- 
mains of the great animal were seen lying upon the bottom. 

With these mastodons, there existed in North America an 
elephant, E. Columoi, which probably associated in herds with 
the mastodon, but were not as large. The mastodons were 
extremely ponderous, and exceeded the largest elephant of 
to-day in size, and, though resembling them in general ap- 
pearance, differed in several marked features. The tusks 
often grew in a peculiar manner : two large, nearly straight 
ones appeared in the upper jaw, while one or two protruded 
from the lower. As a rule, these lower incisors were small; 
but in some instances they attained considerable size. 
Imagine an elephant eleven or more feet in height, With 
three or four enormous sharp ivory tusks, its trunk raised 
aloft, rushing at an enemy ! surely, such an animal was the 
true king of beasts, even in these early days. The tusks 
of the mastodons assumed many strange shapes, and a herd 



ASTr», | FHOY 
TILOEN h ji- 



of these great creatures must have presented a curious ap- 
pearance. As in other proboscidians, the teeth consisted of 
incisors and molars. In the Mastodon turiensis of the pliocene 
time, found at Sismonda, the tusks of the upper jaw were 
nearly straight, though bending their points toward each 
other, long, sharp, and powerful. In a mastodon whose re- 
mains were found in Ohio {Mastodon Ohioticus~), the tusks 
were long, gradually rising at the ends in a graceful curve ; 
while in the lower jaw appeared a small single tusk. These 
lower incisors were present in the young of both sexes of 
this species, but were soon shed by the female, one being 
retained in the male ; so that it was a three-tusked mastodon. 
In the 3Iastodon longirostris, there were, besides the two upper 
tusks, two long, slender .tusks in the lower jaw, a defence 
more formidable than that possessed by any animal of to-day. 
In the elephant, the enamel is confined to the apex of the 
tusks ; but in the huge mastodons -they Often had longitudi- 
nal bands of enamel, more or less spirally disposed upon their 
surface. The molar or grinding teeth of the mastodons ap- 
peared, much as in the elephants, in a horizontal succession : 
the front or worn-out teeth were pushed out or lost before 
the complete development of the posterior ones, which gradu- 
ally moved forward to take the place of those which were 
worn out or ground away. The process was not as perfect 
as that in the present elephant, described in chapter first; 
as sometimes three teeth were in each jaw of the mastodon 
at the same time. The teeth are the chief points of dis- 
tinction between the elephant and the mastodon ; and they 
are readily recognized by the grinding surfaces of the molars, 
which have transverse ridges, their summits being divided into 
conical cusps, with smaller ones often clustered about them. 


The enamel is quite thick: the cementum, which is so plen- 
tiful in the teeth of elephants, is very scanty, never filling 
in the interspaces of the ridges; so that the teeth present a 
serrated edge. 

The great mastodon, many species of which are known, 
lived during what is known as the miocene time of geology, 
ranging from the middle of this period to the end of the 
pliocene, in the Old World, when they appear to have become 
extinct. In Ohio, the mastodons lived to a much later time, 
surviving until the late pliocene period, and were, as I have 
suggested, probably limited by early man, if he was in exist- 
ence at that time. 

The mastodons had a wide geographical range, being found 
in almost every country. Nine species are known from 
Europe, — M. angustidens, M. borsoni, M. pentelici, M. pyre- 
naicus, M. taperoides, M. virgatidens, M. avernensis, M. dissi- 
milis, and M. longirostris. Five species have been found in 
India, and four in North America. Two are from South 
America. Two only have been found in England. 

Mastodons undoubtedly lived in Australia ; a molar tooth 
of 31. andium, or a similar form, having been found in New 
South Wales. 

From this brief review of the early proboscidians, it will be 
seen that the elephant, as we popularly term all proboscid- 
ians, had originally as wide a range as man, appearing in 
almost every country ; and it is even described by Pliny as 
being very plentiful in the forests of the so-called Atlantis. 

Equally as interesting as the huge mastodon was the pygmy 
elephant, two species of which formerly existed. These were 
remarkably diminutive creatures, about the size of ordinary 


sheep ; while their baby elephants must have been about that 
of ordinary cats. We can imagine a herd of these wonderful 
little creatures roaming about, and the strange appearance 
they must have presented. Their names are Elephas melitten- 
sis and E. falconeri ; their bones are found in Malta and 
various parts of Italy. Living small or pygmy elephants 
are frequently referred to in old works. Bles, a corre- 
spondent of Buffon, states that he saw one in the Kandyan 
kingdom not larger than a heifer, and covered with hair. 
Bishop Heber says, that, in his journey from Bareilly to the 
Himalayas, he saw the Rajah Gourman Sing mounted on an 
elephant hardly bigger than a Durham ox, and almost as 
shaggy as a poodle. 

It would seem that at one time a pygmy elephant existed 
in the Philippines, perhaps when they were connected to the 
Indian continent ; as Professor Semper found the tooth of a 
fossil species at Mindanao, on the upper course of the Agusan, 
the most southerly of the group. The tooth, which this emi- 
nent scientist considers to have belonged to a dwarf species 
of the Indian elephant, was used in a remarkable ceremonial. 
It was worn by the Baganis, or chiefs of a cannibal race, on 
important occasions, strung about the neck with various 
objects, as images of gods, crocodile-teeth, etc. When the 
wearer in battle killed a foe, his breast was opened with a 
sacred sword, and the tooth and associated objects were 
dipped in the blood; and after the god of war, to which 
these objects are sacred, was supposed to have slaked his 
thirst, the Bagani indulged themselves in the human feast. 

In the second book of the iEneid, Virgil refers to a tradi- 
tion that at one time Sicily was a part of the main-land ; and 
Malta was probably connected in a similar manner. Geolo- 


gists even claim that Italy was united to Africa by a bridge 
of land, over which various animals passed. 

It would be extremely interesting to trace back the early 
history of elephants, to follow their ancestry into the past, 
as we can the horse; but the present state of knowledge 
renders this difficult if not impossible. The present ele- 
phants stand alone and distinct, without any living allies. 
They are hoofed animals, in this related to the cows, etc. ; 
and in their structure they show some affinities with the 
gnawing animals, or rodents; but here nearly all resem- 
blances cease. We may follow them back to ancient ele- 
phants of the tertiary time, and to the era when mastodons 
reigned, but we cannot show that they are descended from 
the mastodons: in short, their history is shrouded in mystery. 

One of the earliest proboscidians was the dinotherium, 
a remarkable animal larger than living elephants, with a 
trunk, and an enormous head, the lower jaw of which was 
armed with two powerful tusks which pointed downward, and 
tended toward the body. This strange elephantine creature 
lived in the upper miocene time, and has been found only in 
Europe. It is supposed to have been a water-loving animal, 
and to have uprooted trees and roots with the powerful tusks. 
In the accompanying picture (Plate VI.), I have attempted 
a restoration of the animal, which gives an idea of its general 
appearance. The dinotherium ranged, as far as known, from 
France to India, its southern limit in Europe being Greece 

Some authors express the opinion that the singular group 
of extinct animals known as dinocerata are ancestral forms 
of the elephant. The various species of dinoceros were 
animals of elephantine stature, but with shorter limbs ; and 


their heads could reach the ground, so that there was no 
evident need of a proboscis. Indeed, certain animals may 
have possessed trunks, and not been elephants, if we may 
accept the restoration of Burmeister, who shows a pliocene, 
horse-like animal, — Macrauchenia patagonia, — with a pro- 

The head of the dinoceros must have presented a remark- 
able appearance, being provided with two long, sharp, canine 
teeth, and places for four horns. Whether the latter were 
present, or not, is not known. All the species that are known 
come from the Wyoming tertiary. In fact, the question is 
involved in darkness. Professor Cope considers that they 
all branched from some primitive stock in eocene times, and 
at one time stated that the coryphodon, an animal as large 
as an ox, with a wide elephantine pelvis, was a possible 
ancestor ; but now I believe he looks still farther back, to a 
group he has termed Taxepoda. 

Professor Schmidt of the University of Strasburg says, 
"In entering upon a discussion of the elephants as a class, 
it was our wish to do away with what mystery seemed to 
encompass the existence of the present animal ; and we have 
done so by pointing out their undoubted descent from the 
miocene mastodons." The latter forms he considers to "have 
originated from ancestors of the dinotherium species ; " but 
as to the ancestor of the dinotherium, the learned professor 
leaves us in the dark as much as ever. It is only within a 
few years that the genealogy of the horse has been regarded 
as worked out ; and it may be only a matter of time before 
Cope, Marsh, Leidy, or others will present the world with 
the original elephant. 



JUMBO (See Plate VII.). 

MANY elephants have become famous in ancient and 
modern times, — some by their deeds in war (for their 
courage and daring), others for their domestic virtues and 
intelligence. But Jumbo, whose fame extended to all civil- 
ized nations, was noted for his great size, and for the hue and 
cry raised over his departure from their country by the 
English people ; and it is safe to say that no animal ever rose 
to quite such a lofty pinnacle of popularity. Probably not 
a boy or girl who visited the huge animal when alive, but 
ever after took an interest in his career, and sincerely re- 
gretted his untimely end. Jumbo was a prince among ele- 
phants, a magnificent example of the possibilities of animal 
life, and a type of a race that is slowly but surely passing 
away. Jumbo's early infancy was undoubtedly spent in the 
wilds of Central Africa. In 1861, when he was about four 
feet high, an elephantine toddler, Sir Samuel Baker saw him 
in the possession of some Hamran Arabs, who were taking 
him down the Settite River for delivery to a collector named 
Johann Schmidt. The latter sold him to the Jardin des 
Plantes ; and Mr. W. B. Tegetmier says, " I saw him the day 
after his arrival in the Gardens, and went into his den with 
Mr. Bartlett. He was then about four feet high ; and the 

X - i ■ 





c I 

JUMBO. 65 

keeper, holding a long-handled broom in the usual manner, 
was scrubbing his back, which was far below him." This 
was in 1865 : so that when he died, Jumbo was presumably 
about twenty-six years old, hardly in his prime ; and I learn 
from Professor Ward, who mounted the skeleton, that he had 
not ceased growing. From 1865 to 1882 Jumbo lived in the 
Gardens of the London Zoological Society, pampered, fed, 
and petted by old and young ; daily being marched upon the 
green with a load of children upon his back ; and though, as 
Sir Samuel Baker says, he was not designed by nature as a 
perambulator, still the great animal was eminently success- 
ful as one. 

Whether founded on fact, it is difficult to say, but rumors 
became current, that Jumbo had given evidence of dangerous 
outbursts of temper ; and the keepers were afraid, so the re- 
port went, that possibly some one would be hurt. At this op- 
portune juncture, Mr. Barnum, through an agent, offered the 
Zoological Society the sum of ten thousand dollars for Jumbo, 
which was immediately accepted ; and, before the astonished 
public were hardly aware of what had occurred, the papers 
were signed that placed Jumbo in American hands. When 
this fact became known, there rose a clamor and protest from 
all classes. The excitement grew daily, added to by the 
comments of the German, English, and French press, until 
the question of Jumbo was the all-absorbing topic of the 
day. "The New- York Herald" said, " It seems a sad thought 
that a war between England and America is imminent, and 
may break out at any moment, and that no intervention will 
be able to stay the angry passions of two nations which 
ought to live in undisturbed harmony. The cause of this 
possible outbreak is the thoughtless sale of Jumbo, the pet 


elephant. Mr. Barnum vows that he will exhibit the giant 
to fifty millions of free Americans at fifty cents apiece. It 
seems a pity to rupture the amicable relations that have so 
long existed between us and our neighbors, but we must 
have that elephant." 

Mr. Labouchere mentioned the matter in a humorous way 
in Parliament; and "The London Standard" pathetically re- 
marked, "When a Southern slave-owner put in force his legal 
right of separating a family at the auction-block, the world 
rang with anathemas against the inhumanity of the deed. 
Surely, to tear this aged brute from a home to which he is at- 
tached, and from associates who have so markedly displayed 
their affection for him, is scarcely less cruel." Mr. Lowell, 
our minister at the time, is said to have . observed, that 
the only burning question between the countries was 

Thousands now flocked to the Garden to see the now fa- 
mous elephant, that evidently had a strong hold upon their 
affections; subscriptions were started, to buy him back at 
any price ; and the directors of the Garden were the butt of 
a vast amount of abuse. 

Finally the editor of " The London Daily Telegraph " sent 
the following cablegram to Mr. Barnum : — 

P. T. Barnum, New York. — Editor's compliments. All British 
children distressed at elephant's departure. Hundreds of correspondents 
beg us to inquire on what terms you will kindly return Jumbo. Answer 
prepaid, unlimited. 


And back went this eminently characteristic reply from 
the great American showman : — 

JUMBO. 67 

My compliments to editor " Daily Telegraph " and British nation. Fifty 
millions of American citizens anxiously awaiting Jumbo's arrival. My 
forty years invariable practice of exhibiting best that money could pro- 
cure, makes Jumbo's presence here imperative. Hundred thousand pounds 
would be no inducement to cancel the purchase. . . . 

In December next I visit Australia in person with Jumbo and my en- 
tire mammoth combination of seven shows, via California, thence through 
Suez Canal. Following summer to London. I shall then exhibit in 
every prominent city in Great Britain. May afterwards return Jumbo 
to his old position in Royal Zoological Gardens. Wishing long life and 
prosperity to the British nation, " The Daily Telegraph," and Jumbo, I 
am the public's obedient servant, 


To this answer, the " Telegraph " referred in the following 
editorial : — 

" Jumbo's fate is sealed. The disappointing answer from 
his new American proprietor, which we published yesterday, 
proves too clearly that there is nothing to expect from deli- 
cacy or remorse in that quarter. Moved by the universal 
emotion which the approaching departure of London's gigan- 
tic friend had aroused, we communicated with Mr. Barnum, 
indicating that ' money was no object ' if he would only 
listen to the entreaties of the English children, and let the 
Royal Zoological Council off their foolish bargain. The fa- 
mous showman replied — as all the world now knows — in 
tones of polite but implacable decision. He has bought 
Jumbo, and Jumbo he means to have ; nor would ' a hundred 
thousand pounds ' be any inducement to cancel the purchase. 
If innumerable childish hearts are grieving here over the 
loss of a creature so gentle, vast, and sensible, ' fifty millions 
of American citizens,' Mr. Barnum says, are anxiously wait- 
ing to see the great elephant arrive in the States. Then, 


to increase the general regret, the message depicts the sort 
of life which poor Jumbo has before him. No more quiet 
garden-strolls, no shady trees, green lawns, and flowery- 
thickets, peopled with tropical beasts, bright birds, and 
snakes, making it all quite homely. Our amiable monster 
must dwell in a tent, take part in the routine of a circus. 
Mr. Barnum announces the intention of taking his ' mam- 
moth combination of seven shows' round the world, via 
California, Australia, and the Suez Canal. Elephants hate 
the sea. They love a quiet bath as much as any Christians ; 
but the indignity and terror of being slung on board a ship, 
and tossed about in the agony of sea-sickness, which is prob- 
ably on a scale with the size of their stomachs, would appear 
to them worse than death. Yet to this doom the children's 
' dear old Jumbo ' is condemned ; and it is enough, if he 
knew of it, to precipitate that insanity which his guardians 
have pretended to fear. It is true Mr. Barnum holds out 
hopes that we may some day see again the colossal form of 
the public favorite. In the summer of 1883 he proposes to 
bring the good beast back to England, exhibiting him in 
'every prominent city;' and the message adds, 'I may after- 
wards return Jumbo to his old position in the Royal Zoologi- 
cal Gardens.' There is a gleam of consolation in this, which 
we would not darken by any remarks upon the great show- 
man's ironclad inflexibility; but what will be the mental and 
physical condition of our immense friend when bereavement, 
sea-sickness, and American diet shall have ruined his temper 
and digestion, and abolished his self-respect ? There will be 
a Yankee twang in his trumpeting ; he will roll about on his 
'sea-legs,' with a gait sadly changed from the substantial 
swing so well known ; and Alice herself will hardly know him. 

JUMBO. 69 

" We fear, however, that Jumbo will never come back to 
her and us alive. His mighty heart will probably break with 
rage, shame, and grief; and we may hear of him, like another 
Samson, playing the mischief with the Philistines who have 
led him into captivity, and dying amid some scene of terrible 
wrath and ruin. We hope Mr. Barnum fully realizes what 
ten tons and a half of solid fury can do when it has a mind." 

The young folks, who were the greatest losers by the sale 
of Jumbo, were not silent ; and their attempts to move Mr. 
Barnum are shown in the following letters : — 

9 Dingle Hill, Liverpool, March 7. 
Dear Mr. Barnum, — Please do not take Jumbo to America, j 
think it will be cruel if you do take him when he begs so hard not to be 
taken. There are plenty of other elephants — will not one of them do 
for you instead ? — one that does not mind going. If you will only let 
Jumbo stay, I am sure the English children will thank you ; and I do not 
think the people in America can be so cruel as to wish to have him when 

it makes him so unhappy to leave England. 


P. T. Barnum. Turnbridge Wells, Kent. 

Dear Sir, — You would receive the deepest and most grateful thanks 
of the whole of the British nation, if you would only forego your bargain 
about poor, dear Jumbo. You are so well known as the greatest show- 
man in the world, do be known now as the most generous-minded man. 
I have always found American gentlemen to be every thing that was 
good, kind, and chivalrous ; and I hope you will show yourself a king 
among them. We are all so attached to Jumbo, and he to his home, that 
it would be really cruel to move him. He deserves to remain, I'm sure, 
for his fidelity to all his surroundings, and his good temper under all his 
present trials. I know the American mind is so large, that I have quite 
expected each day to see in the papers that you would let Jumbo remain 
in his old home. In fact, I have all along thought it one of your jokes. 


Praying that you may change your mind, and that this letter may arrive 
in time to assist to that end, I remain, 


P. S. — I am sure you will never regret leaving Jumbo in peace. 

Mr. Barnum, — I write in behalf of our dear old Jumbo. Do be 
kind and generous to our English boys and girls. We do so love him ! 
and I am sure if you have children or little friends of your own, you 
will be able to understand how their hearts would ache, and their tears 
be shed, should they lose the friend who has given them such delight, and 
who is one of their few pleasures in this great and sorrowful city. We 
all know from older and cleverer heads, that by rights Jumbo is yours, as 
you have paid the money for him ; but, dear Mr. Barnum, you who have 
so many famous animals, and, among them, so many elephants, surely 
will think seriously and kindly before you take from us our very dear 
friend Jumbo. About the money for damages — I am sure all our parents 
in this city, who love their little ones so much, will willingly help to give 
you back your money, with an extra sum to make up for any expense you 
may have had concerning him. Do let the kindest side of your nature 
prevail. Think over the many hearts among us nearly breaking, and 
ready to do any thing to implore you to give us back Jumbo. If only 
you are generous to us in this, you will not lose by it, either in this world 
or the next. I am nearly sure if Jumbo does go, he will die when he 
reaches you, for he has clearly shown his great reluctance to leave us ; and 
the voyage, and every thing taken together, will have an ill effect on him ; 
that it will be but a poor Jumbo that will appear before you, even if a 
worse thing does not happen, and the grief at leaving his old friends, 
and such new experiences, does not turn him mad. 

I think, — indeed I do not think, I am sure, — that if Jumbo had been 
our purchase from you, and letters had been sent to us, telling of the sor- 
row of American children at parting with an old favorite, every English 
girl and boy, man and woman, would have said with one voice, that the 
purchase-money should be given back, and the animal left to delight the 
children across the Atlantic. I am sure the wish of possessing the finest 
animal would not have crushed our manly and womanly feelings — and 

JUMBO. 71 

those of all true men and women are generously in sympathy with the 
cry of children in distress. 

You say that perhaps Jumbo will return to us after you have exhibited 
him. I am afraid he will not be alive to come, or, if he is, all his trust 
in his old friends and keepers will be soured, and he will not seem like 
the old friend he now is. 

You may think it a waste of time for a young girl to write to you, 
when older and wiser heads have failed ; but I must tell you of the thou- 
sands of children to whom the parting from Jumbo will be a terrible 
grief. Be to us the generous-hearted man you are believed to be, and 
give us back our Jumbo. 

I remain, yours truly, 


The ninety pupils of a school in the Edgeware road me- 
morialized the secretary of the London Zoo, who replied to 
them thus : — 

Zoological Society of London, 11 Hanover Square, W., 
March 2, 1882. 

Dear Friends, — Your petition has been duly received, but I fear we 

shall not be able to assent to your request. We must ask you to believe 

that our experienced superintendent knows better what elephants are 

suitable to be kept in the Society's Gardens than you do. There are still 

three elephants left in the gardens, upon which we hope you will have 

many rides in future. 

Yours faithfully, 

P. S. SCLATER, Secretary to the Society. 

To Miss E. V. NICHOLS and her companions. 

These appeals, — selected from the hundreds of such, — of 
course, had no effect upon Mr. Barnum ; and in the mean 
time preparations had been going on to ship the giant. A 
huge box was constructed, six feet eight inches in width, and 


thirteen feet high, bound with heavy bands of three-fourths 
inch iron, weighing in all six tons. Feb. 18, 1882, was selected 
as the day for the start. To prevent any trouble, Jumbo 
was heavily chained by his feet ; and, after a struggle to break 
his bonds, he was led toward the box that was to convey him 
to the steamer. But elephants are naturally suspicious, and 
Jumbo was no exception to the rule. Bracing back, he flatly 
refused to. enter j and the attempt was then given up. The 
next day, another trial was made, with like success ; then it 
was proposed to walk the great animal to the steamer, with 
the hope that, after the long tramp, he would enter the box 
readily. Accordingly, the gates were thrown open, and 
Jumbo marched out ,• and " then," says " The London Tele- 
graph," " came one of the most pathetic scenes in which a 
dumb animal was ever the chief actor. The poor brute 
moaned sadly, and appealed in all but human words to Scott, 
his keeper, embracing the man with its trunk, and actually 
kneeling before him." In short, Jumbo refused to go, and 
was again returned to his house ; and then the storm of pub- 
lic resentment broke out with renewed fury. The actions of 
the elephant were contorted into every possible meaning: Ms 
simplest acts and movements were given a significance which 
in all probability they did not have, and the press urged that 
some action be taken to prevent what was considered an out- 
rage. A prominent clergyman wrote, " I trust the people of 
London will rise as one man, to prevent this cruel, inhuman 
bargain being carried out. Are there not walls in England 
strong enough to hold Jumbo, that we must send him 

Every legal obstacle was thrown in the way of the Amer- 
icans. The authorities objected to the elephant being led 





JUMBO. 73 

through the streets ; and, according to Mr. Barnum, the 
superintendent of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Animals never left the Garden until Jumbo did, awaiting 
an opportunity, according to the Americans, to use his author- 
ity in favor of public sentiment. As a last resort, an interim 
injunction was sworn out before Justice Chilly, restraining 
the Council of the Zoological Society from allowing Jumbo 
to be removed. But finally it was seen that Jumbo had 
been purchased fairly ; and in the last of March the great 
elephant was coaxed into its box, and was ultimately hoisted 
aboard the steamer " Assyrian Monarch," and shipped to New 
York, where he was hauled up Broadway in triumph by six- 
teen horses and a large crowd who dragged upon ropes at- 
tached to the wheeled box for the purpose ; and from that 
time to his death became the object of great attention. 

One never tired looking at this stupendous animal. His 
enormous size, the pillar-like legs, — columns of support 
rather than for locomotion, — his stately movements, the pen- 
dulum-like swinging of his huge trunk, all impressed the 
observer that Jumbo was indeed the king among all animals, 
and the most remarkable one ever seen upon this continent. 

Jumbo continued with the Barnum circus until Sept. 13, 
1885, when he met an untimely death in St. Thomas, Canada. 
The final performance of the circus had been given; and 
Jumbo and the trick elephant Tom were marching over the 
track to reach their cars, guided by Scott, the former's 
trainer, when a heavy freight-train came rushing along from 
the east. The headlight was not seen until the train was 
within five hundred yards of the animals, and was not ex- 
pected, as the railroad officials had assured the men that a 
train was not due for an hour. Signals were given as soon 


as possible, and the brakes were put on ; while the elephants 
fled up the track, led by Scott, who stood by them to the 
last : but the heavy train could not be stopped, being on a 
down grade ; and with a thundering roar it came on, striking 
the clown elephant, and hurling him into a ditch, then crash- 
ing into the ponderous Jumbo, the contact stopping the train, 
and derailing the engine and two cars. 

The unfortunate Jumbo was struck in the hind-legs ; and 
it is said, as he felt the cow-catcher, he gave a loud roar, 
turned and fell ; the first car passing along his back, and 
inflicting wounds from which he died in fifteen minutes. 

Jumbo's measurements after death were found to be as 
follows : circumference of the fore-arm, five feet six inches ; 
height, about eleven feet two inches ; length of trunk, seven 
feet four inches ; around the tusk, one foot three and a half 
inches ; length of fore-leg, six feet. Mr. Barnum presented 
the skeleton to the National Museum, and the skin to Tufts 
College, of Massachusetts, where they will ultimately go. 
The two gifts were mounted by Professor Ward of Roches- 
ter, probably the most stupendous piece of taxidermy ever 
attempted in any country ; and, as such, it may be of interest 
to know something of the methods employed. Professor 
Ward thus describes his work in a letter to Mr. Barnum : 
..." Fortunately, we had one good life-photograph, also 
many measurements of his body, taken after the sad acci- 
dent in Canada. The mounting was a matter involving 
such formidable conditions of weight and size, that no ordi- 
nary base would serve to support him. His pedestal was 
first built of heavy oak beams, the crossbars on which he 
stands being six by nine inches in thickness. In these were 
planted eight great standards of two-inch iron, — two of 

JUMBO. 75 

them to go through each leg, — which were bolted above into 
equally heavy cross-beams, which held them together, and 
strengthened the whole. Other beams ran lengthwise of the 
body, placed straight, obliquely, diagonally, and in every 
direction calculated to strengthen and stiffen, and all bound 
together with rods and bars and bolts. One great beam, 
reaching from rear part through the body to centre of his 
forehead, is calculated to sustain fully a ton's weight, if at 
any time his great head should need such support. The 
outlines of his body and legs are then obtained by properly 
fastening pieces of thick plank on edge, and cutting them to 
form required. The further final contour of the body is 
secured by covering these timbers with wooden coating two 
inches thick, and all built up, cut and chiselled to the exact 
form desired in every part. Thus was gradually built up 
an elephant of almost solid wood, of Jumbo's exact size and 
form. To this was applied his vast skin, weighing over 
three-quarters of a ton, and the same nailed and screwed in 
place over the entire surface and along the seams. There 
was no intermediate rilling, and his skin now fits his wooden 
body in every part as closely as does the bark on a tree." 

In mounting the skeleton, Professor Ward made some 
interesting observations, and was able to compare Jumbo's 
frame with that of a full-grown mastodon which was being 
mounted at the same time. That Jumbo was quite a young 
animal, was determined from an examination of his teeth and 
bones ; and, gigantic as he was, he might have attained much 
larger dimensions. 

To take Jumbo's place, Mr. Barnum has purchased Alice, 
the large African elephant of the London Zoological Garden, 
who, according to Tegetmier, "is not of an amiable temper." 


Alice is an African elephant, perfect with the exception of 
the tip end of her trunk, which was torn off some years ago. 
She is about the age of the late Jumbo, and will also find a 
resting-place, when her term has run, in some of the American 
institutions of science. 




THOUGH the tusks of the Asiatic elephant are not large 
and valuable enough to make its capture for that pur- 
pose profitable, the live animal itself is greatly esteemed as a 
beast of burden, and as a show-animal in the pageants of the 
native princes, every petty court or rich man considering it 
necessary to his dignity to possess a number of the huge ani- 
mals. To supply this demand, professional hunters are in 
the field during every season, using several different methods 
to entrap the great game. If the plan is to capture a large 
number of elephants at a time, kheddahs, or enclosures, are 
built ; this method being the one now in use by the Govern- 
ment Hunting-Establishment in Bengal. To make it success- 
ful, about four hundred natives are required ; and their duties 
are so different and varied, that a page from the pay-roll, and 
list of duties from the books of Mr. G. P. Sanderson, officer 
in charge of the Government Elephant-Catching Establish- 
ment in Mysore, are appended : — 

No. Detail. Rate of pay per mensem. Remarks. 


\ To collect establishment, and conduct 
1 Jemadar .... 25 r „ ,• „ 

) operations. 

1 Interpreter ... 10 To Hill-men. 

1 Writer 9 





Rate of pay per mensem. 








Head tracker . . 
Mate trackers 
Trackers . . . 
Head coolies . . 
Mate coolies . . 
Coolies . . . . 

• 9 1 

: ?J 

: ?*} 

• 7 J 




Havildar . . . 
Naik . . . . 
Sepoys . . . . 

. 9 
• 7* > 

. 7 



Head nooser . . 

Noosers . . . 

: !} 

: ?■] 


Head pulwan . . 
Pulwans . . . 

To go ahead and learn the position of 
herd, and send word to hunters. 

To surround and guard herd, con- 
struct enclosure, and drive elephants 

To keep a check on circle of coolies, 
by going around at short intervals ; 
also to mount guard at the depart- 
ment's camp. These men are fur- 
nished with guns. 

To bind the wild elephants when im- 
pounded in the enclosure. 

These men are furnished with guns, 
and take post at any point where 
the elephants show a determination 
to face the cordon of coolies. 

These men constitute a well-organized army of elephant- 
hunters under the immediate command of a jemadar, or native 
sergeant, who in turn is responsible to a British or European 
officer. Besides the remuneration in the above pay-roll, each 
man receives free rations equal to two pounds of rice a day, 
two pounds of salt fish, chillies, salt, etc., per month. The 
total expense of a party is about twelve hundred dollars. 
Besides these numerous hunters, every party has a number 
of tame elephants, or koonkies, upon which the success of the 
hunt often depends. It is estimated that one tame elephant 
can manage two wild ones. This consists in leading the cap- 
tives to water, bringing them fodder, etc. The Asiatic hunt- 
ing-parties generally organize in December, and enter the 
field for two or three months. When the advance-guard dis- 
covers a herd, the large party comes to a stand-still some 


distance away, and then begins an organized system of pro- 
gression. The men divide, and spread out in a circle, the 
object being to surround the herd ; and, when complete, 
the natives often cover six or eight miles of ground, the men 
being some distance apart. When the word has been passed 
that the herd is in the centre, a bamboo fence is quickly put 
up, the material being at hand : in two or three hours, per- 
haps, the animals are entirely surrounded, and the men on 
the alert to see that they do not break out. During the day 
the elephants are generally not visible ; and at night bonfires 
are built around the great circle, and the men by yells and 
shouts keep the terrified animals in the centre. Here they 
are watched, perhaps for a week, the men remaining at the 
posts, where they erect rude huts, and make themselves com- 
fortable. As soon as the bamboo enclosure is completed, the 
important work, or the kheddah, is commenced, — a fence 
within the large one. To construct this, half the guard are 
detailed ; and in a remarkably short time a stout fence is built 
in a circular form, about twelve feet in height, and from sixty 
to one hundred and fifty feet in diameter, braced and supported 
in the strongest manner ; while all around the inside of the 
fence a ditch four feet wide is made. An opening about 
twelve feet wide is left on one side, facing one of the ele- 
phant runs, or tracts. To guide the elephants to the gate, 
palisades are built, diverging from it to a distance of one hun- 
dred and fifty feet. This arranged, the men close in on the 
herd, and, by shouting and firing, force them along the drive 
that leads to the funnel-shaped opening. Into this they run 
in a terrified throng ; and, when all are in, the gate, which is 
a heavy affair studded with nails, is lowered by men stationed 
overhead, and a shout of triumph rises from the crowd of 


coolies. The elephants are now completely at their mercy. 
The fence is strong enough to prevent an outbreak ; and, even 
if it were not, the ditch prevents their approaching it near 
enough to test their strength. Sometimes an elephant more 
plucky than the rest will make the attempt, and go through 
it like paper : but the elephant lacks intelligence in some 
things ; and, when a break has been made by one, the others 
rarely follow the leader, a few shouting coolies being suffi- 
cient to keep them back. 

The elephants do not always enter the kheddah so will- 
ingly, but break away, running over the men, and often kill- 
ing numbers of them ; but, as a rule, a well drilled and 
organized party manages the drive without great difficulty. 
When the herd is under control, the tame elephants are 
marched in, each with its mahout, or driver, upon its neck ; 
and it is a curious fact, again showing the elephant's lack of 
intelligence, that the men are never touched, though they 
could be hauled from the tame animals with the greatest ease. 
Acting under the directions of the mahouts, the tame ele- 
phants separate the wild ones one by one from the herd ; and, 
when they are surrounded, the men, or tiers, slip to the 
ground, and pass ropes or chains about their hind-legs, by 
which they are picketed until they have been reduced to 

For many years elephants have been caught in Bengal, 
and the above plan for taking entire herds at a time is now 
in use by Mr. Sanderson. 1 His most successful operations 
were carried on near the village of Chamraj-Nuggar near the 

1 Mr. Sanderson's long residence in India, and his great experience, natu- 
rally entitle him to be regarded as authority on the elephant, notwithstanding 
Borne authors do not agree with him on certain points. 



T1LD6N FuO.»0-.TlvJ- r 8. 

C t.. 


foot of the Billiga-rungun hills. His first plan was met by 
much ridicule from the natives ; and all the true Mussulmans 
were firm in the belief that no good would come of it, for the 
very good reason that there was a curse handed down by a 
former unsuccessful elephant-trapper for the benefit of any 
one who made the attempt to capture an entire herd after 
him. The natives were willing, however, to enter the em- 
ploy of the official for a consideration, probably when they 
were convinced that the curse would fall upon him alone. 
Be this as it may, he had no difficulty in organizing a good 
band of elephant-hunters ; and in a short time a plan of ope- 
rations was formed on the Houhollay River. The first 
attempt was unsuccessful, but the next season an entire herd 
was captured ; and since then, many large herds have been 
secured, the business being a valuable one to the government. 
The following is a description of one of these government 
hunts from the pen of Mr. Sanderson, the officer in charge : — 
" It was past mid-day before we got all the elephants into 
cover, and not a minute's rest did any of us get until eleven 

P.M. Capt. C , of the revenue survey, came over from his 

camp at Surgoor, and Major G , and he helped to super- 
intend the people. At one point, the supply of tools was in- 
sufficient; and Capt. C was superintending and encoura- 
ging a body of men who were digging with sharpened sticks, 
and even their bare fingers. The elephants were very noisy 
in the cover, but did not show themselves. At every twenty 
yards three or four men were stationed to keep up large fires. 
These were reflected in the water of the channel and river, 
which increased their effect. We all had a most exaggerated 
idea of what the elephants might attempt ; and the strength 
of our defences was in proportion, and greater than they 


need have been. I was kept on the move almost all night by 
false alarms at different points, fortunately groundless ones. 
One tusker showed himself on the bank of the channel, but 
met with such a reception from firebrands and stones, that 
he retreated in haste. The river was an advantage, as the 
elephants had easy access to water. The lurid glare of the 
fires, the giant figures of the lightly clad watchers, their wild 
gesticulations on the bank with waving torches, the back- 
ground of dense jungle resonant with trumpeting of the 
giants of the forest, formed a scene which words are feeble to 
depict, and that cannot fade from the memories of those who 
witnessed it. By eleven p.m. the defences were thoroughly 
secured ; and that the elephants could not now escape, was 
certain, unless, indeed, they carried some of our barricades, 
which were, however, so strong as to be almost beyond their 
power. The men differed as to their number. I had seen 
about twenty : some declared there were fifty, but I could 
not believe this at the time. The number was fifty-four, as 
we subsequently found. The excitement of the scene was 
irresistible ; so I betook myself to walking around the enclos- 
ure at intervals throughout the night, followed by a man 
carrying a basket of cheroots, which I distributed to the 
people. The rest of the time I lay upon my cot, which my 
servant had been thoughtful enough to bring from Morlay, 
enjoying the wildness of the sounds and scenes around, and 
soothed by cheroots and coffee. When the elephants ap- 
proached the place where I was, the guards thrust long bam- 
boos into the fires, which sent showers of sparks up to the 
tops of the trees overhead, where they exploded with a sound 
like pistol-shots. The first crow of the jungle-cock was the 
most grateful sound I think I ever heard, as it showed our 


anxious vigil was drawing to a close. We knew that during 
the day the elephants would give us no trouble. My herds- 
men now joined me from the points where they had been sta- 
tioned during the night, and we set about considering the 
next step to be taken ; namely, making a small enclosure, or 
pound, into which to get the elephants confined. Of course, 
this would take some time to carry out. If driven from the 
east, we knew that the animals would pass between the tem- 
ple and channel at the west end of the cover, with a view to 
crossing the river below the temple, and regaining their 
native hills, which, however, they were fated never to see 
again. I therefore laid out a pound of one hundred yards in 
diameter, surrounded by a ditch nine feet wide at top, three 
at bottom, and nine feet deep. This was connected with the 
larger cover by two guiding trenches which converged to 
the gate. It was completed in four days by the personal 
exertions of the amildar with a body of laborers who worked 
with a will, as their crops had suffered from the incursions of 
elephants, and they appreciated the idea of reducing their 

" The last thing completed was the entrance gate, which 
consisted of three transverse trunks of trees slung by chains 
between two trees that formed gate-posts. This barrier was 
hauled up and suspended by a single rope, so as to be cut 
away after the elephants passed. The news of the intended 
drive attracted several visitors from Mysore. Tents were 
pitched in an open glade close to the river, and we soon had 
a pleasant party of ladies and gentlemen. The evening 
before the drive, all assembled within view of the point where 
the elephants were in the habit of drinking at sunset, and 
were gratified with an admirable view of the huge creatures, 


disporting themselves timidly in the water. On the morning 
of the 17th, every thing being in readiness for the drive, 
Capts. P., B., and I proceeded with some picked hands to 
drive the herd from its stronghold towards the pound. We 
succeeded in moving them through the thick parts of the 
cover with rockets, and soon got them near to its entrance. 
A screened platform had been erected for the ladies at a 
point near the gate, where they could see the final drive into 
the enclosure from a place of safety. The elephants, how- 
ever, when near the entrance, made a stand, and refused to 
proceed, and finally, headed by a determined female, turned 
upon the beaters, and threatened to break down an open 
glade. P. and I intercepted them, and most of them hes- 
itated ; but the leading female, the mother of an albino calf, 
which had been evilly disposed from the beginning, rushed 
down upon me, as I happened to be directly in her path, with 
shrill screams, followed by four or five others, which, how- 
ever, advanced less boldly. When within five yards, I floored 
her with my eight-bore Greener and ten drams ; but, though 
the heavy ball hit the right spot between the eyes, the shot 
was not fatal ; as the head was carried in a peculiar position, 
and the bullet passed under the brain. The elephant fell at 
the shot, almost upon me, and P. fired ; and I gave her my 
second barrel, which in the smoke missed her head, but took 
effect in her chest, and must have penetrated to the region of 
the heart, as a heavy jet of blood spouted forth when she 
rose. For a moment she swayed about, then fell to rise no 
more. This was a painful sight. The elephant had only 
acted in defence of her young ; but shooting her was unavoid- 
able, as our lives, as well as those of the beaters, were in 


"The next scene partook of the ridiculous. The herd dis- 
persed, and regained its position. The little albino calf, see- 
ing P., screamed wildly, and with ears extended, and tail 
aloft, chased him. He, wishing to save it, darted around the 
trees, but was near coming to grief, as he tripped and fell. 
The result might have been disastrous had I not given the 
pertinacious youngster a telling butt in the head with my 
eight-bore. His attention was next turned to a native, who 
took to his heels when he found that three sharp blows with 
a club on the head had little effect. After some severe 
struggles, in which a few natives were floored, the calf was 
at last secured to a tree by a native's waist-cloth and a jungle- 

" While all this took place, the beat became thoroughly dis- 
organized. When the elephant had charged P. and me, our 
men had given way ; and the herd regained its original posi- 
tion, at the extreme east end of the cover. After a short 
delay, we beat it up again to the spot near the gate from 
which it had broken back. The elephants had formed a 
dense mob, and began moving round and round in a circle, 
hesitating to cross the newly filled-in trench, which had 
reached from the channel to the river, but which was now 
refilled to allow them to pass on into the kheddah. At 
length they were forced to proceed by the shots fired, and 
by the firebrands carried through the paths in the thicket. 
The bright eyes of the fair watchers near the gate were at 
length gratified by seeing one great elephant after another 
pass the Rubicon. After a short pause, owing to a stand 
being made by some of the most refractory, the last of the 
herd passed in with a rush, closely followed into the inner 
enclosure by a frantic beater, waving a firebrand. P. and 


I came up third, in time to save any accident from the fall 
of the barrier. C, who was perched on a light branch of 
the gate-post, cut the rope ; and, amidst the cheers of all, 
the valuable prize of fifty-three elephants was secured to the 
Mysore Government. I often think of the rapture of that 
moment. How warmly we sahibs shook hands ! How my 
trackers hugged my legs, and prostrated themselves before 
P. and B. ! An hour of such varied excitement as elephant- 
catching is surely worth a lifetime of uneventful routine in 

Such is the account of an enthusiastic hunter, one of the 
best living authorities on these elephants ; and few men have 
enjoyed his privileges. To complete the capture of this herd, 
seventeen tame elephants were employed ; and finally they 
were all tamed and ready for use. They consisted of sixteen 
male elephants, the largest being eight feet five inches at the 
shoulder ; three mucknas, or tuskless males ; thirty females, 
and nine young ones. Nine were given to the Maharajah's 
stud, ten to the Madras Commissariat Department, while 
twenty-five were sold at public auction when they were tame 
enough to be used by purchasers. The latter realized about 
$415 apiece, or in a bulk 110,425 ; and the amount realized 
from the entire catch, deducting the deaths, was $18,770. 
Deducting from this the total sum of expenditures from Mr. 
Sanderson's first attempt at their capture in 1873, or $7,780, 
a profit to the government remained of $10,995. Mr. 
Sanderson was congratulated by the chief commissioner of 
Mysore, and his excellency the viceroy and governor-general 
in council, and has since continued to capture elephants on 
this plan, always with marked success. His last catch that 
I have record of, that of 1882, was two hundred and fifty-one, 


and that only up to March. The first drive yielded sixty- 
five, and the second fifty-five, elephants. These animals were 
taken in the Garrow Hills. 

A second method of taking wild elephants in India is by 
following them with females trained for the purpose. This 
plan is usually more successful in the capture of large tuskers 
than the kheddah, as the latter are often away from the herd, 
and do not become entrapped. The hunt is generally com- 
posed of four or five well-trained female elephants ridden by 
mahouts, who sit upon their necks, and are hidden by cloths 
or blankets of the same color as the elephant's skin. In 
some works, these elephants are called decoys ; but this is an 
entirely mistaken idea. The tame elephants use no arts to 
attract the wild ones, in the sense of a decoy, merely obeying 
the commands or signs of the keeper. 

When the location of a single male is determined, the 
tame elephants approach the spot in a leisurely manner, feed- 
ing "as they move. Sometimes the wild elephant scents the 
mahouts, and moves off; but, as often, they do not seem to 
notice them ; and, if not, the tame ones gradually surround 
him, and endeavor by command of their mahouts, who direct 
them by signs, to keep its attention. Generally there is an 
elephant in the near vicinity, loaded with ropes and other 
material ; and, as several days are occupied, the men are 
relieved every day, the elephants drawing off one by one, 
and returning with fresh men. 

This surveillance is kept up day and night ; and, during 
the latter, the wild elephant goes into the fields to feed, being 
closely followed by the seemingly treacherous females with 
their concealed drivers. When he returns to the forest as 
the day approaches, they follow : and as he lies down, and 


tries to go to sleep, they close in about him, and, at the com- 
mand of the mahouts, keej) him awake by various devices ; 
all this performance resulting in thoroughly fatiguing the old 
fellow, and making him sleep very soundly when he does 
take a nap. Sometimes an elephant is fed with sugar-cane 
loaded with opium, to make him sleep ; and, as soon as he 
has fallen into a deep slumber, the mahouts slip off behind, 
and securely tie his legs. Then the men in the rear come 
up, and rudely awaken him, slapping him on his haunches, 
and telling him facetiously to be of " good cheer." 

The struggles of the trapped elephant are terrific, and 
they often injure themselves fatally. The tame elephants 
follow them up until they are thoroughly subdued, when 
they are securely bound, and led to the place where their 
training commences ; and a few months later, they are carry- 
ing their human owners about, or working in the timber 
district, as if they had not been wild elephants so short a 
time before. 

A third method of taking elephants here is by the pitfall, 
— a barbarous custom, not now in general practice, as it 
always resulted in the loss by death of a large proportion of 
the catch. The plan was to dig pitfalls in the well-known 
and beaten tracts of elephants in the jungle, or under certain 
trees where they were known to congregate to feed. These 
traps, or holes, were generally ten and a half feet long by 
seven and a half broad, and fifteen feet deep, being purposely 
small, so that the imprisoned animals could not dig down 
the earth with their tusks, which they often did. In former 
years, there was, according to the government official, a per- 
fect network of these pits in Mysore, and kept in order by the 
.Maharajah, the Forest Department, and others. The natives, 




Page 77- 



C I- 


as the Strolagas and Kurrabas, also made pits ; and when an 
elephant was trapped, and they had no way of getting it out, 
the poor creatures often died before a tame elephant could 
be secured to give the required assistance. Through the en- 
deavors of Sanderson, this inhuman practice has been given 
up ; and all elephants caught are treated as humanely as 

A fourth plan of capture is by noosing wild elephants 
from the back of a tame one ; and this affords a most excel- 
lent and manly sport, to be commended, as the animal is 
given fair play, and boldly met in the field. It is confined 
to Bengal and Napaul, not being practised in Southern India, 
and is not in favor for the reason that not rarely the tame 
elephants are badly injured, and the wear and tear upon them 
is too great. The sport is extremely dangerous, and is car- 
ried on something after the fashion of lariating wild cattle 
in the West of our own country. Fast elephants are selected, 
and three drivers provided each. One sits on the neck, to 
direct it ; another sits near the tail, and, with a spike and a 
mallet, is supposed to hammer the unfortunate animal as 
hard as possible, just over the spot marked by the os coccygis. 
This is to spur the elephant on to excessive bursts of speed, 
and generally success. A third man sits on a pad upon the 
elephant's back, and holds a noose, the other end of the rope 
being strapped about the animal's body. 

Thus fitted, a wild herd is followed; and, once sighted, the 
last man hammers at the creature with his spike and mallet, 
and away they go, over the rocks and through the bush in a 
wild chase. If the tame elephants are fleet enough, they 
soon range alongside, and give the rope-handler an opportu- 
nity to test his skill, which he does by throwing the noose 


over the head of the nearest elephant. Some natives are very 
expert at this ; but men are often hauled off and crushed, or 
the elephants are choked, and many accidents occur. 

A different kind of noosing is practised in Ceylon, where 
men follow the animals on foot, and throw a noose so skil- 
fully, that they catch them about their legs when running at 
full speed through the jungle. As soon as this is accom- 
plished, the men follow along, and twist the end about a tree, 
and soon have the great game at their mercy. 

In all these cases, there is great danger, but not so much as 
where the animal is followed by the hunter on foot, and meets 
the huge creature face to face, his object being the tusks; 
described in a separate chapter on elephant-hunting as a 




IN the previous chapter we have seen how elephants were 
captured in the early times in India, and how modern 
methods have humanized the entire system of their seizure ; 
and now we will glance at the huge captives in confinement. 
The Asiatic elephant is a marketable commodity, and is 
bought and sold like the horse in this country. After the 
government has selected those needed for its use, the rest 
are sold. Certain places have become famous for their sales. 
Stonepoor, on the Ganges, is, perhaps, the best known ; and 
here, every year, a great fair is held, and many elephants sold 
and exchanged. This location is particularly favorable for 
the purpose, as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims meet here 
to worship at the famous shrine of Shiva. 

The scene at this time is one of great activity : and im- 
mense numbers of elephants are exhibited, and many sharp 
bargains made ; as the East Indian elephant-traders are not a 
whit behind the horse-dealers of Western countries. 

Another celebrated elephant headquarters in Bengal, where 
these animals are sometimes sold, is at Dacca, a populous 
native city of seventy thousand inhabitants. It is about one 
hundred miles from the sea, and was once noted as a ship- 
building port, and headquarters for a fleet of eight hundred 


armed vessels, whose duty it was to protect the southern 
coast from the cruel Arracanese pirates. From its location 
on a branch of the Ganges, it is admirably adapted as the 
headquarters of the Bengal Elephant-catching Establishment, 
water, grasses, and fodder of various kinds, being plentiful ; 
while its availability to the forests of Sylhet Cachar and 
Chittagong, which abound in wild elephants, render it a com- 
paratively easy matter for the captives to be brought to a 
first-class market. 

The elephant depot is called a peelkhana, and stands in 
the suburbs of the town. It embraces an area about a quar- 
ter of a mile square, consisting of an intrenched quad- 
rangular piece* of ground, where the pickets, to which the 
elephants are tethered, are arranged in regular rows. Each 
picket is provided with a solid floor of stone or mortar, 
where there is a post to which the elephants are fastened. 
During the heat of the day, they are removed to sheds. In 
the enclosures are numbers of buildings, containing the gear, 
and various appliances used about elephants. There is a 
hospital, where the invalid elephants are tended ; for, if ele- 
phants do not die very often, they sometimes get sick, and 
are then given the best of treatment. There is also a hos- 
pital, or room, for the native doctor, who doses the elephants' 
attendants when they require it, as only a native doctor can 
do ; and, as the elephants have a European to look after them 
when ill, they probably have the best of it. This great depot 
is under an English officer, who generally organizes the great 
hunts that have been described. The establishment is com- 
posed at all times of about fifty trained elephants, called 
koonkies. Besides these, there are always a number under- 
going the training process ; and, when ready for service, they 


are divided up among the various military stations, or sold, 
as the case may be. Stonepoor is the scene of great public 
sales. Here those who wish to make a selection from many 
elephants, congregate ; and their ideas of good points are 
strangely at variance with our own. The natives recognize 
three different castes, or breeds, based upon certain physical 
peculiarities ; and, when about to purchase, they state which 
class they wish to invest in. In Bengal, these breeds are 
known as Koomeriah, Dwdsala, and Me erg a ; meaning, first, 
second, and third class animals. The word Koomeriah im- 
plies royalty, and is supposed to possess every excellence, and 
is among elephants what Maud S. or St. Julian are among 
trotting-horses. Its points, according to Sanderson, are : bar- 
rel deep, and of great girth ; legs short (especially the hind 
ones) and colossal, the front pair convex on the front side 
from the development of the muscles ; back straight and flat, 
but sloping from shoulder to tail, as an up-standing elephant 
must be high in front ; head and chest massive, neck thick 
and short ; trunk broad at the base, and proportionately heavy 
throughout; bump between the eyes prominent; cheeks full; 
the eye full, bright, and kindly ; hindquarters square and 
plump, the skin rumpled, thick, inclining to folds at the root 
of the tail, and soft. If the face, base of trunk, and ears be 
blotched with cream-colored markings, 1 the animal's value is 
enhanced thereby. The tail must be long, but not touch the 
ground, and be well feathered. A Koomeriah should be 
about nine feet and over high. 

The temper of these animals of both sexes is, as a rule, 
superior to that of others ; and, according to the above 
authority, while gentleness ami snbmissiveness are character- 

1 In Burmali this would he considered a white elephant. 


istics of all elephants, the Koomeriah possesses these qualities, 
and unanimity, urbanity, and courage, in a high degree. In 
short, the Koomeriah is the standard of perfection among 

The Dwdmla caste includes all those which rank just below 
this in point of excellence ; while the Meerga, which is sup- 
posed to be a corruption of the Sanscrit Mriga, a deer, refers 
to all the rest ; almost the reverse of the first caste in every 
particular, being long and thin of limb, with an arched, 
sharp-ridged back, a thin, flabby trunk, and long and lean 
neck ; the head small, and eyes piggish. In fact, its whole 
appearance is often indicative of its nature; that is, mean and 
cowardly at times. The Meerga, however, is not without a 
value, being the swifter of the race ; and, if speed alone is 
required, it is more valued than the Koomeriah. They can 
always be obtained, while Koomeriahs are not always in the 
market. The Kabul merchants make a specialty of them, as 
our Kentucky dealers do of blooded horse-stock. Many are 
attached to the various courts, and devote their entire time 
in hunting for first-class animals for their masters. 

It sometimes happens that an elephant dies after almost 
reaching the city, and the merchant is nearly ruined ; but in 
such cases an Eastern nobleman would consider it beneath 
his dignity to refuse to pay for the defunct animal ; — an 
example of true Oriental munificence. 

The price of elephants has increased in India of late years, 
though their numbers are not growing less. In 1835 they 
could be bought for $225 apiece ; in 1855 for $375 ; in 1874, 
$660. Now $750 is the lowest figure for which even a young 
animal can be purchased. Though the prices are very 
capricious, good females of full growth bring from $1,000 to 


11,500 ; and 110,000 is often paid for a fine Koomeriah. 
These are all bought up by rajahs and others, who use them 
in their retinues, and for temple purposes. 

Elephants were often in the olden times grossly treated 
and starved ; but in the present day they are too valuable to 
be neglected, and are, as a rule, carefully tended when under 
the observation of Europeans ; but, if left to the mercies of 
the natives to-day, they will often deprive them of food if 
any thing can be gained by it. 

The captive elephants require much care, from the enor- 
mous amount of food they eat. In Bengal and Madras, the 
government decides how much each elephant shall have for 
breakfast, dinner, and supper ; and the allowance is a liberal 
one. In Bengal the rations per day are four hundred pounds 
of green fodder, which means grass, sugar-cane, or branches 
of trees ; or two hundred and forty pounds of dry fodder, 
namely, stalks of cut grain. In Madras, only two hundred 
and fifty pounds of green fodder, and one hundred and 
twenty-five of dry, are allowed ; — not by any means the 
amount a full-grown, hearty elephant will eat. A large 
tusker requires eight hundred pounds of green fodder 
every eighteen hours, or day. In eight females which were 
watched by Mr. Sanderson, commencing at six p.m., they 
ate an average weight of six hundred and fifty pounds by 
twelve a.m. the next day. They also had eighteen pounds 
of grain a day. 

The elephants are required to bring in their own green 
fodder; and one can conveniently carry a load of eight 
hundred pounds, or one day's food. 

The discrepancy between this showing and that which the 
Madras elephants received, was made a subject of investiga- 


tion by the government at the suggestion of Mr. Sanderson, 
and resulted in the poor creatures receiving their proper 
allowance. It was found by the investigating officers, that 
the animals which had been having two hundred and fifty 
pounds of green fodder, could eat seven hundred and fifty 
pounds of dry sugar-cane : so for years they had been 
worked hard and half starved, merely because the govern- 
ment had fixed the rate per diem. This is another instance 
of the reforms that have been instituted by Mr. Sanderson, 
who has the thanks of all admirers of this noble animal. 

If an elephant in confinement possesses such a seemingly 
enormous appetite, a herd must be an expensive luxury to 
keep. In Bengal the expense for one elephant per mensen 
is as follows : — 

1 mahout (driver) 

1 grass-cutter ....... 

IS lbs. unhusked rice per day, at 64 lbs. per rupee 
Allowance for medicines, salt, etc. 
Fodder allowance at 2 annas per diem 

In Madras it is forty-eight rupees. 

1 A rupee equals fifty cents. 














THE lion and tiger share the time-honored term of king 
of beasts ; their courage, intrepid natures, majestic 
bearing, and record for ferocity, having earned them the 
title, in the estimation of many. But, when compared to 
the elephant, these noble animals are mere pretenders. The 
elephant is the true king, the monarch of the land in size 
and strength, and capable, when thoroughly enraged, of toy- 
ing with the tiger or lion. Rarely does an elephant fall a 
victim to either of these animals, and then only in their 
extreme youth. An instance is recorded by Sanderson which 
was considered so remarkable that he made a long trip to 
the place to verify it. 

The elephant was a mere baby, — a calf four and a half 
feet at the shoulder, and weighing, perhaps, six hundred 
pounds. It had wandered off into the jungle, where it was 
pounced upon by the man-eater ; falling an easy victim, as 
its legs were tied to each other. The tiger had sprung upon 
it, seizing it by the throat as it would a bullock, and dragged 
it twenty or thirty feet, there feasting upon its quarters. 

Another instance is recorded of a hobbled, or tied, ele- 
phant being attacked by a man-eater; but the animal's cries 
attracted the attention of the keeper, and it was saved. 


An animal so powerful as the elephant would naturally 
afford the grandest sport to the hunter ; and, in following the 
great game, more dangers are incurred, and risks run, than 
in any known chase. 

We have seen, that, in trapping elephants, every attempt 
is made to preserve them from injury : but, in hunting 
them for mere sport, this is reversed ; and the animal is fol- 
lowed, either on foot or horseback, and shot as quickly as 
possible. This is often a most dangerous operation, and 
accompanied by the death of hunter and attendants. In 
trapping elephants, the men have the fences to retreat to, 
and tame elephants to hide behind ; but the true sportsman 
follows the game into its own haunts, the deepest jungle, and 
boldly faces it, giving the noble creature an even chance for 
its life. 

Sir Samuel Baker and Sanderson both say that elephant- 
shooting is the most dangerous of all sports if fairly followed 
for a length of time. Many elephants may be killed with- 
out the sportsman being in any peril ; but, if an infuriated 
beast does make an attack, its charge is one of supreme dan- 
ger. The risk has this charm, that, though so great unless 
steadily and skilfully met, it is within the sportsman's power, 
by coolness and good shooting, to end it and the assailant's 
career by one well-planted ball. 

The wild elephant's attack is one of the noblest sights of 
the chase, and a grander animated object than a wild elephant 
in full charge can hardly be imagined. The cocked ears and 
broad forehead present an immense frontage. The head is 
held high, with the trunk coiled between the tusks, to be un- 
coiled in the moment of attack. The massive fore-legs come 
down with the force and regularity of ponderous machinery; 


and the whole figure is rapidly foreshortened, and appears 
to double in size with each advancing stride. The trunk 
being doubled, and unable to emit any sound, the attack is 
made in silence, and after the usual premonitory shriek, 
which adds to its impressiveness. (See Plate XXIII.) 

In former times the natives hunted the elephant with what 
are called jinjalls, — nothing more nor less than small cannon 
weighing about forty-five pounds, and mounted on a tripod- 
stand or carriage. The bullet used was of lead, weight about 
half a pound, and propelled by half a pound of native powder. 
Each hunting-party was fitted out with one of these, which 
was borne on a pole by four men, — two men carrying the 
gun itself, one the stand, while the fourth was the captain, 
who did the aiming and firing. 

When the game was discovered by these pot-hunters, the 
gun was placed about three feet from the ground, aimed 
at any portion of the body, and fired. A fuze was generally 
used ; and, igniting this, the valiant sportsmen ran away as 
fast as possible, — indeed, for their lives, as the cannon usu- 
ally kicked completely over : and often limbs were broken, 
and other accidents occurred, the result of tardiness in 

These guns were usually fatal at ninety or one hundred 
feet ; and the unfortunate brutes rarely escaped if hit, often 
being desperately wounded. As many as five or six have 
been taken in this way, during the time that the Madras 
Government offered thirty dollars a head for them, to reduce 
their numbers ; and elephant-hunting became a lucrative 
business, adopted by every one who could buy a jinjall. 

The weapons now used in elephant-hunting are rifles ; and 
the heaviest bore that can be carried with convenience is 


generally none too large, though Sir Samuel Baker usually 
used a light gun ; this being, however, because he could not 
shoot with a heavy one. 

The larger the gun, the less opportunity there is of game 
escaping, to die a lingering death ; and this generally decides 
the true sportsman. During the last decade, twelve-bore rifles 
were greatly used (li oz. ball), but these are rarely seen now. 
Sanderson, one of the best living authorities on the subject 
of hunting the Asiatic elephant, killed several of his first 
elephants with a No. 12 spherical-ball rifle with hard bullets 
and six drachms of powder. But this he discarded for a 
No. 4 double smooth bore, C. F., weighing nineteen and 
a half pounds, built by W. W. Greener. With this he fires 
twelve drachms of powder. Another gun, a No. 8 double 
rifle, firing twelve drachms, and weighing seventeen pounds, 
same make, he recommends, having stopped several char- 
ging elephants with it. No game in America requires such 
heavy arms, but the huge elephant demands weapons in pro- 
portion to its size. 

In the majority of animals, a shot in any vital part is 
sufficient to disable them to some extent : but, in Asiatic- 
elephant shooting, there are only three shots that can be 
depended upon ; and the sportsman must be somewhat well 
acquainted with the anatomy of the animal to successfully 
make them. The three vulnerable spots are the front, the 
bullet striking the forehead ; the side, or temple ; and the 
rear, or behind the ear. The brain of the animal is the mark ; 
and it is so small in proportion to the rest of the skull, that 
a slight change of position, either raising or depressing the 
head, will render the shot futile. This can be seen by ex- 
amining a section of an elephant's skull. (See Plate I.) 



*ST< ». 

t c "fi/ «'iri 





The elephant sportsman usually makes elaborate prep- 
arations for the sport, taking a sufficient number of 
natives, servants, and trackers, with provisions to stay in 
the field some time ; and only after some practice can he 
approach a herd, and pick out his shot, with any feeling 
of confidence. 

The true hunter disregards the females, seeking the old 
tuskers ; and to approach a herd without giving the alarm 
requires great caution, and not a little experience. The great 
game is generally found moving gradually in a given direc- 
tion, feeding as they go. If they are approached from the 
wind, they scent danger from afar: but the experienced hunter 
creeps up against the wind, and ordinary caution enables him 
to approach within thirty or forty feet, — quite near enough, 
my readers would think, when one knows, that, upon the first 
shot, the entire herd will charge madly in any and every 
direction. The old tuskers, the heads of the family, rarely 
cover the retreat of a herd when an attack is made, usually 
starting off on their own account, leaving the others to look 
out for themselves. 

When the presence of the hunter is realized, the one who 
makes the discovery informs the rest by a " peculiar short, 
shrill trumpet," understood by old hunters as well. The 
herd immediately cease feeding, all standing perfectly still, 
probably using their ears and scent, or perhaps making up 
their minds which way to go. The next movement differs 
in different cases. Sometimes the herd charge wildly in any 
direction ; sometimes in a body ; or, again, they move with 
such remarkable celerity and silence, that even old hunters 
have been deceived. 

This peculiarity of the elephant, the largest of living land 


animals, is extremely remarkable. How such a huge body- 
can make its way through bamboo and jungle so gently, is 
hard to imagine ; but often, after the first rapid rush, there is 
absolute silence; and the novice comes to a stand-still, think- 
ing that the game has followed suit. On the contrary, the 
headlong charge of the herd has been changed to a rapid 
walk, so silent, that persons in very close proximity to a band 
making off in this way. have failed to hear even the boughs 
and bushes scraping against the thick hide. 

A charging herd will soon overtake a man, especially if 
he runs up-hill ; and the appearance of a mass of bobbing 
heads and elevated ears moving forward through the jungle, 
is quite sufficient to unnerve the majority of men. When a 
charge is made, the natives rush for trees or clumps of bam- 
boos, or often escape by standing still, so small an object 
being passed by in the fury of the rush. 

Exactly what a herd will do when attacked, it is impossible 
to say. If they have never heard a shot before, they often 
huddle together in the greatest alarm, and do not break and 
charge until the continued firing and appearance of smoke 
thoroughly alarms them. They perhaps think the noise is 
thunder until the continued repetition disabuses them of the 

Elephants, when standing in this undecided manner, are 
liable to outbursts of fury if not treated in a certain way. 
Sanderson sa} r s, " At such times no one should shout to turn 
them, as a charge by one or more is sure to be made if 
startled in this peculiar way. I have seen and experienced 
several instances of the danger of this. In Chittagong, whilst 
driving elephants into a stockade on one occasion, they ap- 
proached the guiding line of beaters too closely, when a man 


who was behind a small bush shouted at them within thirty 
yards. A female at once charged him. The man fell ; and 
with the pressure of her foot she split him open, and killed 
him on the spot. This elephant had a very young calf, from 
solicitude of which she became a perfect fury." 

Contrary to general belief, the single, or solitary, tuskers 
afford the greatest sport. They are generally found away 
from the herd before nine o'clock in the morning, and at this 
time the hunter endeavors to find them. When a great dis- 
tance from a herd, the solitary elephant ceases feeding at 
about ten, then stands listlessly a while under cover, and 
finally lies down and goes to sleep. As a rule, it snores 
quite loudly ; the sound, which has a metallic ring to it, 
coming from the trunk. Besides this, they often, perhaps 
involuntarily, raise their upper ear, and let it fall with a 
resounding slap upon the neck. All these sounds are well 
known to the trackers; and, by them, they can tell just what 
to expect, and how far away the game which is concealed in 
the jungle is. 

If a bed recently used is found by the trackers, they 
immediately look for tusk-holes, or the impressions of the 
tusks in the soil, made when the animal is lying down. If 
they can put five fingers in the hole, they consider that the 
tusks will weigh thirty pounds apiece, and are well worth 

Sanderson thus describes a hunt organized for his benefit 
in the Billiga-rungun hills, not far from Mysore: "I kept my 
eye on the tusker, who was in the middle of the line, and was 
wondering how I could get a shot at his brain, when, as luck 
would have it, some vegetable attraction overhead tempted 
him, and he raised his head to reach it with his trunk. I had 


beforehand fixed the fatal spot in my mind's eye ; and, catch- 
ing sight of his temple, I fired. For a moment I could see 
nothing, for the smoke, but heard a tremendous commotion 
amongst the elephants that were in company with the tusker. 
Stepping a little aside, I saw their huge heads all turning 
towards me, their ears outspread, and their trunks coiled up 
in terrified astonishment. Being a novice in the sport, I felt 
for the moment that I was in real danger. I stood my 
ground however, determined, that, if any of them charged, 
to fire at the foremost, and to run to Jaffer for the second 
rifle: that failing, the case would have been rather bad. 
However, charging was far from their thoughts : right about ! 
quick march ! was more to their fancy ; and with shrieks and 
trumpets, away they went, some to the right, some to the 
left, joined by the whole herd in one headlong race, up or 
down the nullah. But my tusker remained stone dead upon 
his knees. The triumph of such a success, utterly unassisted, 
and in my first inexperienced attempt, quite transported me. 
My bullet had reached the tusker's brain : and, in sinking 
down, he must have been supported by the bodies and legs 
of the elephants between which he was wedged in ; thus he 
still remained on his knees, though quite dead. He retained 
this kneeling position for some minutes, when, by a gradual 
subsidence of the carcass, he heeled over, and fell heavily on 
his side. I narrowly escaped being crushed between him and 
the bank as he sank, just springing out of the way in time. 
It would have been a fine thing indeed, if, after bagging my 
first elephant, I had fallen a victim to the collapse of his 

The largest elephant shot by this sportsman measured as 
follows : — 





Vertical height at shoulder . 

. 9 


Length from tip of trunk to tip of tail . 

. 26 


Tusks, each showing out of gum . 

. 2 


When taken out, right . 

. 5 

" " " left 

. 4 


Circumference at gum . 

. 1 


Weight (right, 37£, left, 37) . 

• 74| 


At the end of a successful trip, when such an elephant has 
been shut, the sportsman is disposed to be liberal to the 
trackers; and the following is what Sanderson gave his 
men: — 

RS. 1 

Present to nine Kurrabas ....... 36 

Blankets to ditto 
Present to gun-bearers 
Hologas for cleaning skull 
Warm clothes for servant 
Two carts to Kakankote 
Tobacco, arrack, and rice 





150 rupees, or $75 

On one occasion, this hunter was following a herd, when 
two Kurrabas ahead of him began to gesticulate furiously ; 
and, running ahead, he almost lost his life. He says, " Not 
knowing what to make of this, except that there was an ele- 
phant somewhere in the grass, I ran on, and almost fell into 
an old and disused pitfall, which now contained an elephant. 
His head was a little above the level of the ground. As I 
stepped back quickly, he threw his fore-feet on to the bank, 
and tried to reach me with his tusks. The whole occurrence 

1 A rupee equals two shillings. 


was so sudden and unexpected, and his rush so startling, that 
I instinctively pulled the trigger of my four-bore rifle from my 
hip as I stepped back : there was no time to bring it to my 
shoulder. The shot went through the base of his right tusk, 
and buried itself deeply in his neck. He fell backwards; 
but, recovering himself, he commenced dashing his head with 
great violence against the sides of the pit in his stupefaction. 
I therefore took a light gun from Jaffer, and killed him." 
The elephant had fallen into the pit some time before, and 
the herd had immediately deserted it, as, says Sanderson, 
they always do. 

In following wild elephants, sportsmen often have favor- 
able opportunities to observe the habits and customs of the 
great game in their native wilds ; and on such an occasion a 
fight between two tuskers was witnessed. Such an instance 
is recorded in the following: "We ran towards the place 
where the sounds of contest were increasing every moment : 
a deep ravine at last only separated us from the combatants, 
and we could see the tops of the bamboos bowing as the 
monsters bore each other backwards and forwards with a 
crashing noise in their tremendous struggles. As we ran 
along the bank of the nullah to find a crossing, one elephant 
uttered a deep roar of pain, and crossed the nullah some forty 
yards in advance of us to our side. Here he commenced to 
destroy a bamboo clump (the bamboos in these hills have a 
very large hollow, and are weak and comparatively worth- 
less) in sheer fury, grumbling deeply the while with rage and 
pain. Blood was streaming the while from a deep stab in 
his left side high up. He was a very large elephant, with 
long and fairly thick tusks, and with much white above the 
forehead : the left tusk was some inches shorter than the 


right. The opponent of this Goliath must have been a mon- 
ster indeed, to have worsted him. 

"An elephant-fight, if the combatants are well matched, 
frequently lasts for a day or more, a round being fought 
every now and then. The beaten elephant retreats tem- 
porarily, followed leisurely by the other, until, by mutual 
consent, they meet again. The more powerful elephant occa- 
sionally keeps his foe in view till he perhaps kills him: other- 
wise the beaten elephant takes himself off for good on finding 
he has the worst of it. Tails are frequently bitten off in 
these encounters. This mutilation is common amongst rogue 
elephants, and amongst the females in a herd. In the latter 
case, it is generally the result of rivalry amongst themselves. 

"The wounded tusker was evidently the temporarily beaten 
combatant of the occasion ; and I have seldom seen such a 
picture of power and rage as he presented, mowing the bam- 
boos down with trunk and tusks, and bending the thickest 
part over with his fore-feet. Suddenly his whole demeanor 
changed : he backed from the clump, and stood like a statue. 
Not a sound broke the stillness for an instant. His antago- 
nist was silent, wherever he was. Now the tip of his trunk 
came slowly round in our direction, and I saw that we were 
discovered to his fine sense of smell. We had been standing 
silently behind a thin bamboo clump, watching him ; and, 
when I first saw that he had winded us, I imagined that he 
might take himself off. But his frenzy quite overcame all 
fear for the moment. Forward went his ears, and up went 
his tail, in a way which no one who has once seen the signal 
in a wild elephant can mistake the significance of; and in 
the same instant he wheeled about with astonishing swiftness, 
getting at once into full speed, and bore down upon us. The 


bamboos, by which we were partly hidden, were useless as a 
cover, and would have prevented a clear shot : so I slipped 
out into open ground. The instant the elephant commenced 
his charge, I gave a shout, hoping to stop him, which failed. 
I had my No. 4 double smooth bore, loaded with ten drachms, 
in hand. I fired when the elephant was about nine paces 
off, aiming into his coiled trunk about one foot above the 
fatal bump between the eyes ; as his head was held very high, 
and this allowance had to be made for its elevation. I felt 
confident of the shot, but made a grand mistake in not giving 
him both barrels. It was useless to reserve the left, as I did, 
at such close quarters ; and I deserved more than what fol- 
lowed for doing so. The smoke from the ten drachms obscured 
the elephant, and I stepped quickly to see where he lay. 
Good Heavens ! he had not been even checked, and was upon 
me. There was no time to step to right or left. His tusks 
came through the smoke (his head being now held low) like 
the cow-catcher of a locomotive, and I had just time to fall 
flat to avoid being hurled in front of him. I fell a little to 
the right. The next instant down came his ponderous foot 
within a few inches of my left thigh ; and I should have been 
trodden upon had I not been quick enough, when I saw the 
fore-foot coming, to draw my leg from the sprawling position 
in which I fell. As the elephant rushed over me, he shrieked 
shrilly, which showed his trunk was uncoiled ; and his head 
also being held low, instead of in a charging position, I 
rightly inferred that he was in full flight. Had he stopped, 
I should have been caught ; but the heavy bullet had taken 
all the fight out of him. Jaffer had been disposed of by a 
recoiling bamboo, and was now lying almost in the elephant's 
line. Fortunately, however, the brute held on. I was cov- 


ered with blood from the wound inflicted by his late antago- 
nist in his left side : even my hair was matted together when 
the blood became dry. How it was that I did not bag the 
elephant, I can't tell." 

A good idea of the excitement and sport of elephant-hunt- 
ing is obtained from the following account, from the pen of 
Sir Victor Brooke, of a hunt participated in by him and Col. 
Douglas Hamilton in the Billiga-rungun hills. The adven- 
ture is particularly interesting, as the tusks were the largest 
ever taken in India : — 

"In July, 1863, Col. Douglas Hamilton and I were shoot- 
ing in the Hassanoor hills, Southern India. We had had 
excellent sport, but, until the date of the death of the big 
tusker, had not come across any elephants. Upon the morn- 
ing of that day, in the jungles to the east of the Hassanoor 
bungalow, we had tracked up a fine tusker, which, partly 
from over-anxiety, and partly, I must confess, from the effect 
on my nervous system of the presence of the first wild bull 
elephant I had ever seen, I failed to bag. About mid-day I 
was lying on my bed, chewing the cud of vexation, and 
inwardly vowing terrible vengeance on the next tusker I 
might meet, when two natives came in to report a herd of 
elephants in a valley some three or four miles to the north 
of our camp. To prepare ourselves was the work of a few 
seconds. As we arrived on the ridge overlooking the valley 
where the elephants were, we heard the crackling of bamboos, 
and occasionally caught sight of the track of an elephant as 
it crossed a break amongst the confused mass of tree-tops 
upon which we were gazing. Presently one of the elephants 
trumpeted loudly, which attracted the attention of some peo- 
ple herding cattle on the opposite side of the valley, who, 


seeing us, and divining our intentions, yelled out, ' Anay ! 
dnay ! ' (elephants) at the top of their voices, in the hope, 
no doubt, of receiving reward for their untimely information. 
The effect of these discordant human cries was magical. 
Every matted clump seemed to heave and shake, and vomit 
forth an elephant. With marvellous silence and quickness 
the huge beasts marshalled themselves together; and, by the 
time they appeared on the more open ground of the open 
valley, a mighty cavalcade was formed, which, once seen, can 
never be forgotten. There were about eighty elephants in 
the herd. Towards the head of the procession was a noble 
bull with a pair of tusks such as are seldom seen in India 
nowadays. Following him in a direct line came a medley of 
elephants of lower degree, — bulls, cows, and calves of every 
size, some of the latter frolicking with comic glee, and run- 
ning in among the legs of their elders with the utmost confi- 
dence. It was truly a splendid sight; and I really believe, 
that, while it lasted, neither Col. Hamilton nor I entertained 
any feeling but that of intense admiration and wonder. At 
length this great exhibition was, we believed, over ; and we 
were commencing to arrange our mode of attack when that 
hove in sight which called forth an ejaculation of astonish- 
ment from each one of us. Striding along thoughtfully in 
the rear of the herd, many of the members of which were 
doubtless his children and his children's children, came a 
mighty bull, the like of which neither of my companions 
after many years of jungle experience, nor the natives who 
were with us, had ever seen before. But it was not merely 
the stature of the noble beast that astonished us ; for that, 
though great, could not be considered unrivalled. It was 
the sight of his enormous tusks, which projected like a 


gleam of light through the grass, through which he was 
slowly wending his way, that held us rooted to the spot. 
With an almost solemn expression of countenance, Col. 
Hamilton turned to me, and said, ' There's the largest tusker 
in India, old boy ; and, come what may, you must get him, 
and take his tusk to Ireland with you.' It was in vain that 
I expostulated with my dear old friend, recalling my morn- 
ing's mishap, and reminding him, that, in jungle laws, it 
stands written, ' Shot turn and turn about at elephants.' 
It was of no avail. ' You must bag that tusker, ' was all the 
answer I could get. 

" It took us but a short time to run down the slope, and 
to find the track which swept like a broad avenue along the 
bed of the valley. Cautiously we followed it up, and, after 
about a quarter of a mile, came upon the elephants. They 
were standing in perfect silence around the borders of a 
small glade, in the middle of which stood the great tusker, 
quite alone, and broadside to us. He was about fifty yards 
from us, and therefore out of all elephant-shooting range ; 
but the difficulty was to shorten the distance. The ap- 
proach direct was impossible, owing to the absolute want of 
cover : so, after some deliberation, we decided on working 
to the right, and endeavoring to creep up behind a solitary 
tree, which stood about twenty yards behind the elephant. 
When within ten yards of this tree, we found to our annoy- 
ance a watchful old cow, who was not farther than fifteen 
yards from us, and to our right, and had decided suspicions 
of our proximity. To attempt to gain another foot would 
have been to run the risk of disturbing the elephants. See- 
ing this, and knowing the improbability of our ever getting 
the bull outside the herd again, Col. Hamilton recommended 


me to creep a little to the left, so as to get the shot behind 
his ear, and to try the effect of my big Purdy rifle, while he 
kept his eye on the old cow in case her curiosity should 
induce her to become unpleasant. I should mention that we 
now, for the first time, perceived that the old bull had only 
one perfect tusk, the left one being a mere stump, projecting 
but little beyond the upper lip. I accordingly followed Col. 
Hamilton's instinct ions. At the shot, the old bull, with a 
shrill trumpet of pain and rage, swung around on his hind- 
legs as on a pivot, receiving my second barrel, and two from 
Col. Hamilton. This staggered the old fellow dreadfully; 
and, as he stood facing us, Col. Hamilton ran up within 
twelve yards of him with a very large single-bore rifle, and 
placed a bullet between his eyes. Had the rifle been as 
good as it was big, I believe this would have ended the fray; 
but, though its slunk produced a severe momentary effect, 
the bullet had, as we afterwards ascertained, only penetrated 
three or four inches into the cancellous tissue of the frontal 
bone. After swaying backwards and forwards for a moment 
or two, during which I gave him both barrels of my second 
rifle, the grand old beast seemed to rally all his forces, and, 
rolling up his trunk, and sticking his tail in the air, rushed 
off trumpeting, and whistling like a steam-engine. 

" Col. Hamilton followed, and fired two more barrel-shots, 
while I remained behind to reload the empty rifles. This 
completed, I joined my friend, whom I found standing in 
despair at the edge of a small ravine overgrown with tangled 
underwood, into which the tusker had disappeared. For 
some little time I found it difficult to persuade Col. Hamilton 
to continue the chase. Long experience had taught him how 
rarely elephants once alarmed are met with a second time the 


same day. At length, however, finding that I was deter- 
mined to follow the tracks of the noble beast until I lost 
them, even should it involve sleeping upon them, my gallant 
old friend gave way, and entered eagerly into a pursuit which 
at the time he considered almost, if not absolutely, useless. 
It would be tedious, even if it were possible, to describe all 
the details of the long, stern chase which followed. After 
emerging from the thorny ravine into which the elephant had 
disappeared, the tracks led over a series of extensive open 
grassy glades, crossed the Mysore-Hassanoor road beyond the 
seventh milestone, and then followed the deep, sandy bed 
of a dry river for a considerable distance. At length, when 
about nine weary miles had been left behind us, we began to 
remark signs of the elephant having relaxed a little in its 
direct onward Might. His tracks commenced to zigzag back- 
wards and forwards in an undecided manner, and finally led 
down a steep, grassy slope into a densely matted, thorny jun- 
gle bordering a small stream at its foot. I was the first to 
arrive at the edge of the thicket, and without waiting for my 
companions, who were out of sight, followed the tracks cau- 
tiously into it. I soon found that it was almost impossible 
to track the elephant any farther. The entire thicket was 
traversed by a perfect labyrinth of elephant-paths, and on 
each path were more or less recent footprints of elephants. 
Giving up the idea of tracking for a moment, I was on the 
point of commencing a further exploration of the thicket, 
when a low hiss attracted my attention ; and, looking around, 
I saw a native who had accompanied us, beckoning to me, 
and gesticulating to me in the most frantic manner. Upon 
going to him, he pointed eagerly in front of him ; and, follow- 
ing the direction of his finger, my eyes alighted, not on the 


elephant as I expected, but upon Col. Hamilton, who, from 
behind the trunk of a small tree, was gazing intently towards 
the little stream, which ran not more than thirty yards from 
where he was standing. With the greatest care I stole to his 
side. ' There he is, in front of you, standing in the stream. 
You had better take him at once, or he will be off again,' 
were the welcome Molds which greeted my ears. At the 
same moment my eyes were gratified by the indistinct out- 
line of the mighty bull, who, already suspicious of danger, 
was standing perfectly motionless in the middle of the stream, 
which was so narrow that the branches of the low bamboos 
on its banks nearly met across it. The distance, twenty- 
seven yards, was too great for certainty: but there was no 
choice; as, even if the elephant had been utterly unaware of 
our vicinity, the tangled, thorny nature of the dense jungle 
surrounding him would have rendered it impossible to ap- 
proach nearer without discovery. As it was, the perfect 
immobility of all save his eye, and every now and then the 
quickly altered position of his tattered ears, showed undeni- 
ably that the chances of flight and battle were being weighed 
in the massive head, and that there was no time to lose. 
Covering the orifice of the ear with as much ease as if the 
shot had been at an egg at a hundred yards, I fired. A 
heavy crash, and the sudden expulsion of the stream from 
its bed ten or twelve feet into the air, followed the report ; 
and I have a dim recollection of my old friend hugging me 
the next minute in his delight while he exclaimed, ' Splen- 
did, old boy ! he's dead, and the biggest tusker ever killed in 
India.' But our work was not over yet. With one or two 
tremendous lurches from side to side, the old bull regained 
his feet, but only to be again felled by my second barrel, and 


this time to rise no more. The shades of evening were clos- 
ing in fast, and a long journey lay between us and home, so 
we had but a few moments to admire the grandest trophy 
it has ever fallen to the lot of a sportsman to secure." 

This hunt not only shows the endurance required, but the 
remarkable faculty of the elephant in travelling great dis- 
tances when so desperately wounded, and the necessity of 
the heaviest ammunition to prevent prolonged suffering in 
the noble animals. When an elephant has been shot in the 
manner described by Sir Victor, the tusks are secured as 
trophies, and sometimes the head and other parts. They are 
either cut out with an axe, or left for ten or twelve days, 
when they can be easily drawn out of the alveole. The 
lowest Mysore inhabitants will not eat elephant flesh, though 
they have no objection to carrion ; but the Chittagong hill 
people eat it with avidity. The tail is also used as a trophy ; 
while the feet are taken and upholstered as footstools, and pre- 
sented to the sportsman's lady friends. The feet of calves 
are converted into cigar-boxes, for the fortunate hunter's 
gentleman acquaintances ; while tobacco-boxes, inkstands, 
and various articles are also made as mementoes of the 

As the elephant shot by Sir Victor Brooke had the largest 
tusk ever observed in an Asiatic elephant, I give the meas- 
urements : — 


FT. IN. 

Total length, outside curve SO 

Length of part outside socket or nasal bones (outside 

curve) 5 9 

Length of part inside socket (outside curve) . . .23 

Greatest circumference 1 4.9 

Weight 90 lbs. 




FT. IN. 

Total length, outside curve 

. 3 3 

Outside socket, outside curve . 

. 1 2 

Inside socket, outside curve 

. 2 1 

Greatest circumference .... 

. 1 8 


49 lbs. 




MENTION of the white elephant is found in the very- 
early histories of Oriental countries. In a work 
called the " Mahaw Anso," the animal is described as 
forming a part of the retinue attached to the Temple of 
the Tooth at Anarajapoora in the fifth century after Christ ; 
but it commanded no religious veneration, being merely con- 
sidered as an emblem of royalty. 

White elephants were so valued in the sixteenth century, 
that the nations of Pegu and Siam waged a war for many 
years about one ; and, before it was settled, five successive 
kings were killed, and thousands of men. 

Horace mentions the white elephant in his "Epistles." 
Democritus would laugh at the populace, — 

"Whether a beast of mixed and monstrous birth 
Bids them with gaping admiration gaze, 
Or a white elephant their wonder raise." 

^Elian refers to a white elephant whose mother was black. 
In the eleventh century Mahmood possessed one, and when 
mounted upon it in battle he felt assured of victory. 

The question whether the white elephant was worshipped, 
or is at the present time, in Burmah or Siam, is of consider- 


able interest ; and authorities vary so, that the seeker after 
information is often puzzled. I think that the status of the 
animal may be fairly expressed in the following. 

By the most intelligent and refined Burmese and Siamese, 
it is merely considered as an invaluable adjunct to royalty. 
It is an important part of the retinue of a court; and its 
presence is considered a lucky omen, this superstition hav- 
ing an extremely strong hold upon the princes and kings. 
The lower classes in some cases may have worshipped the 
white elephant, and the attention paid to it by royalty may 
have easily been misunderstood by the uneducated as 

The fact thai the white elephant is mentioned in the 
mythology of the countries, and associated with Buddha, 
shows that it was undoubtedly reverenced if not worshipped 
by some; and. if the veneration had not its source in reli- 
gions feeling, it was so nearly akin to it that it amounted to 
the same thing. 

The Siamese are extremely superstitious ; but, before we 
condemn them, we must remember how many of our sailors 
refuse to sail on Friday. How a broken mirror or spilled 
salt alarms many otherwise intelligent Americans! so that, 
when we learn from Major Snodgrass that in his time in 
Burmah a mere grunt from the white elephant was supposed 
to have some important significance, we need not be sur- 
prised. Any extraordinary movement or noise made by the 
animal was quite enough at this time to interrupt the most 
important affairs, and to cause the most solemn engagement 
to be broken. Crawford thinks this was merely superstition, 
and sa}^s, " I had here an opportunity, as well as in Siam, of 
ascertaining that the veneration paid to the white elephant 


had been in some respects greatly exaggerated. The white 
elephant is not an object of worship, but it is considered an 
indispensable part of the regalia of sovereignty. Royalty is 
incomplete without it ; and, the more there are, the more 
perfect is the state of the kingly office considered. Both the 
court and the people would consider it as peculiarly inau- 
spicious to want a white elephant, and hence the repute in 
which they are held. The lower orders, however, it must be 
observed, perform the " shiko, or obedience of submission," 
to the white elephant ; but the chiefs view this as. a vulgar 
superstition, and do not follow it." 

On the other hand, Vincent states that the white elephant 
has been happily termed the Apis of the Buddhists. " It is 
held to be sacred by all the Indo-Chinese nations except the 
Annamese. It is revered as a god while living, and its 
death is regarded as a national calamity. . . . Even at the 
present day the white elephant is worshipped by the lower 
classes ; but by the king and nobles it is revered and valued 
not so much for its divine character, being the abode of a 
transmigrating Buddha, as because it is believed to bring 
prosperity to the court in peace, and good fortune in war. 
The more there are of them, the more grand and powerful 
the state is supposed to be." 

From this somewhat conflicting statement, we may infer 
that the white elephant was formerly worshipped ; but, at the 
present day, the estimate that I have given may be applied. 

The association of the white elephant with the religious 
sects of India is well known ; but how much it was rever- 
enced from the association, it is impossible to tell. Sir John 
Bowring gives the following reasons for believing that the 
animal was held sacred, principally, " because it is believed 


that Buddha, the divine emanation from the Deity, must 
necessarily, in his multitudinous metamorphoses, or transmis- 
sions through all existences, and through millions of peons, 
delight to abide for some time in that grand incarnation of 
purity which is represented by the white elephant. While 
the bonzes teach thai there is no spot in the heavens above, 
or the earth below, or the waters under the earth, which is 
not visited in the peregrinations of the divinity, — whose 
every >tage or step is towards purification, — they hold that 
his tarrying may be longer in the white elephant than in any 
other abode, and that, in the possession of the sacred crea- 
tures, they may possess the presence of Buddha himself. 
It is known that the Singhalese have been kept in subjection 
by the belief that their rulers have a tooth of Buddha in the 
Temple of Kandy ;' and that, on various tracts of the East, 
impressions of the foot of Buddha are reverenced, and are 
the objects of weary pilgrimages to places which can only be 
reached with difficulty : but with the white elephant some 
vague notions of a vital Buddha are associated, and there can 
be no doubt that the marvellous sagacity of the creature has 
served to strengthen their religious prejudices. Siamese are 
known to whisper their secrets into an elephant's ear, and to 
ask a solution of their perplexities by some sign or move- 
ment. And most assuredly there is more sense and reason 
in the worship of an intelligent beast than in that of stocks 
and stones, the work of men's hands. 

Kircher says that " the veneration which, in the Burman 
Empire, is paid to the white elephant, is in some degree con- 
nected with the doctrine of metempsychosis. Xaca sustained 
seventy thousand transmigrations through various animals, 
and rested in the white elephant." Hindoo mythology 



TIL»tN i-uu»J«.l'lONS. 

c ^ 


Caches that the earth is supported by eight elephants ; and 
that this was believed, is shown by Bernier, who witnessed 
a dialogue between an aga at the court of Delhi, and a Pun- 
dit Brahmin. The harangue concluded with these words : 
" When, my lord, you place your foot in the stirrup, march- 
ing at the head of your cavalry, the earth trembles under 
your footsteps ; the eight elephants, on whose heads it is 
borne, finding it impossible to support the extraordinary 
pressure. " 

In the Ramayana, one of the most celebrated sacred books 
of the Brahmins, is a very curious account of the journey of 
a party of men who penetrated to the interior of the earth, 
and had an audience with the famous elephants. It will be 
seen from the following, that the white elephant is an im- 
portant member of this subterranean band : — 

"The sixty thousand descended to Patala, and there re- 
newed their digging. There, O chief of men ! they saw the 
elephant of that quarter of the globe, in size resembling a 
mountain, with distorted eyes, supporting with his head this 
earth, with its mountains and forests, covered with various 
countries, and adorned with numerous cities. When, for the 
sake of rest, O Kakootstha ! the great elephant, through dis- 
tress, refreshes himself by moving his head, an earthquake is 
produced. Having respectfully circumambulated this mighty 
elephant, guardian of the quarter, they, O Rama ! fearing 
him, penetrated into Patala. After they had thus pene- 
trated the east quarter, they opened their way to the south. 
Here they saw that great elephant Muhapudma, equal to a 
huge mountain, sustaining the earth with his head. Behold- 
ing him, they were filled with surprise ; and, after the usual 
circumambulation, the sixty thousand sons of the great Su- 


gura perforated the west quarter. In this, these mighty ones 
saw the elephant Soumanuca, of equal size. Having respect- 
fully saluted him, and inquired respecting his health, these 
valiant men, digging, arrived at the north. In this quarter, 
O chief of Rnzhoo ! they saw the snow-white elephant 
Bhudra, supporting this earth with his beautiful body." 

The Persians have, according to Chardin, a festival in 
honor of the inspiration of an elephant, when Abraha, a 
prince of Yemen, marched an army to destroy the Kaaba of 
Mecca, the sacred oratory which Abraham built in that city. 
Prior to the birth of Mohammed, the Arabians reckoned from 
this epoch, which they called the year of the coming of the 
elephants. The tradition is thus told in Sale's Koran: "The 
Meccans, at the approach of so considerable a host, retired to 
the neighboring mountains, being unable to defend their city 
or temple. But God himself undertook the defence of both. 
For when Abraha drew near to Mecca, and would have en- 
tered it, the elephant on which he rode, which was a very 
large one, and named Mahmud, refused to advance any 
nigher to the town, but knelt down whenever they endeav- 
ored to force him that way, though he would rise and march 
briskly enough if they turned him towards any other quar- 
ter: and while matters were in this posture, on a sudden, a 
large flock of birds, like swallows, came flying from the sea- 
coast, every one of which carried three stones, one in each 
foot, and one in its bill ; and these stones they threw down 
upon the heads of Abraha's men, certainly killing every one 
they struck." 

In many old works, reference is made to the fact that the 
elephant was a religious animal. Kircher, in his description 
of China, gives a plate showing a white elephant worshipping 


the sun and moon, which was copied from the Chinese. It 
was supposed that all elephants worshipped the sun. Pliny 
says, " We find in him qualities which are rare enough 
amongst men, — honesty, prudence, equity, religion also, in 
his worship of the sun and moon. Authors say, that, in the 
forests of Mauritania, the elephants, at the sight of the new 
moon, descend in troops to a certain river called Anelo, 
where they solemnly wash themselves, and, having rendered 
their homage to the star, return to the woods, supporting the 
young ones that are fatigued." 

According to Vincent, in Pali Scriptures it is duly set 
forth " that the form under which Buddha will descend to 
the earth for the last time, will be that of a beautiful young 
white elephant, open-jawed, with a head the color of cochi- 
neal, with tusks shining like silver sparkling with gems, 
covered with a splendid netting of gold, perfect in organs 
and limbs, and majestic in appearance." 

It would seem from the above, that there was at least little 
doubt that among some classes in ancient times the white ele- 
phant was worshipped. The term white is deceptive. The 
pure white elephant figured on the arms and flag of Siam 
has conveyed the impression that the Siamese and Burmese 
possessed pure white proboscidians ; but this is a gross error. 
A pure white elephant probably never existed, at least was 
never captured. All the so-called sacred elephants of the 
present and former days possessed very few characteristics 
to distinguish them from ordinary elephants to be met with 
any day in Bombay. Mr. Barnum's white elephant is an ex- 
ceptionally fine example, being whiter than many owned in 
Siam, and much more so than the late white elephant of 
Theebaw. In fact, the white elephant is not white at all, the 


term being applied to any elephant who shows the slightest 
evidence of albinism. There are two terms applied to abnor- 
mally white or black animals, — albinism and melanism. The 
former is given to animals, including men, who have a defi- 
cient supply of coloring matter; while the latter is associated 
with those who have an excess of pigment. Men and women 
with white hair and pink eyes, the white rabbit, etc., repre- 
sent the albino phase ; and the white elephant belongs to this 
category, being simply an ordinary elephant, who, to a greater 
or less extent, lacks coloring matter ; and, as a result, it is 
often a dark mouse color, a little lighter than the ordinary 
elephant, and has numerous pinkish splashes about the head, 
or on various parts of the body. The eyes in some are pink ; 
and the toe-nails, when scraped, are perhaps some lighter, 
and in some cases a yellowish white. The blotches of the 
white elephant are not hereditary. It is the offspring of 
black parents, and the condition does not affect the health 
of the animal in any way. 

In India, the white elephant is not appreciated ; but the 
Singhalese are fond of elephants having the pink blotches 
which constitute a white elephant in Siam or Burmah ; and 
they are liable to be found in any elephant country. 

While we assume that the white elephant is not worshipped 
or revered by the nobles of Siam and Burmah of the present 
day, the honor that is paid it is somewhat astonishing. Thus, 
the King of Cambodia, who claims that his ancestors owned 
seventy thousand elephants, is called the "first cousin of 
the white elephant;" the prime minister of Siam, "general 
of the elephants ; " the foreign minister of Cochin China, 
" mandarin of elephants ; " while the late Theebaw and the 
King of Siam enjoyed the distinction of being called "lord 


of the celestial elephant," and " master of many white ele- 

The animal appears upon various objects, as the national 
emblem, the coat of arms, medals, the buttons of officials, etc. 
The late white elephant of Theebaw held a high rank and 
position at court, taking precedence of the heir-apparent ; or, 
assuming it to have been connected with the British court, 
it would have been given precedence before the Prince of 

The Order of the White Elephant is one of the most 
honorable conferred, and few have received it. Among them 
is Edward Arnold, author of " The Light of Asia ; " and it 
was reported some time before the Burmese war, that the 
King of Siam was about to visit England for the sole pur- 
pose of conferring it upon Queen Victoria. 

The following is a copy of the parchment which accom- 
panied the one conferred upon Mr. Arnold. It is beauti- 
fully executed in gold, red, and black, and is a curiosity in 
itself: — 

Somlech Phra Paramindr Maha Chulaloukoru, Chula Chom 
Klao, King of Siam, fifth sovereign of the present dynasty, which 
founded and established its rule, Katana Kosindr Mahindr Ayuddhya, 
Bangkok, the capital city of Siam, both northern and southern, and 
its dependencies, Suzerain of the Laos and Malays and Koreans, 
etc., etc. 

To all and singular, to whom these presents come. 

Know ye, we deem it right and fitting, that Edwin Arnold, Esq., 
author of " The Light of Asia," should be appointed an officer of the 
most exalted Order of the White Elephant, to his honor henceforth. 
May the Power which is most highest in the universe keep and guard 
him, and grant him happiness and prosperity ! 

Given at our palace, Parania Raja Sthit Maholarm, on Tuesday, the 


11th waning of the lunar month Migusira, the first month from the cold 
season of the year Toh Ekasole, 12-41 of the Siamese era, corresponding 
to the European date 9th of December, 1879, of the Christian era, being 
the 4046th day, or 12th year of our reign. 


Queen Victoria has, I believe, not yet received the order ; 
but she is not unacquainted with the veneration entertained 
by the Siamese for the animal, as the following will show. 
Some years ago she sent an embassy to the kingdom of Siam, 
consisting of several noblemen and officers of rank, to con- 
duct some diplomatic business; and, according to custom, 
they eairied some valuable presents to the king. Upon their 
return, the latter, not wishing to be outdone by the Queen, 
delivered to Sir John Bowring a gold box locked with a gold 
key, containing the most valuable gift he could devise. Sir 
John, naturally thinking it a gem, perhaps of great price, bore 
it carefully from Siam to England, and personally presented 
it to her Majesty. Doubtless there w r as some curiosity in the 
royal mind to know what was so precious as to require a 
solid gold box and key; but it was not a gem, — though it 
may have been in the eyes of the Siamese monarch, — and 
was simply a few hairs taken from the king's white elephant ! 

A Siamese ambassador, during a visit to London, thus 
referred to Queen Victoria in language intended to be highly 
flattering : " One cannot but be struck with the aspect of the 
august Queen of England, or fail to observe that she must 
be of pure descent from a race of goodly and warlike kings 
and rulers of the earth, in that her eyes, complexion, and, 
above all, her bearing, are those of a beautiful and majestic 
white elephant." 

As these pink-splashed elephants are so esteemed, it is not 


to be wondered at that there is constant search for them in 
the jungle ; and the fortune of him is made who discovers 
one. They are, however, comparatively rare ; and in thirteen 
hundred and fifty-two years, between A.D. 515 and 1867, only 
twenty-four were captured, making about one in every fifty- 
six years. The last one was captured in 1885, and was con- 
ducted to the court of the King of Siam by His Royal High- 
ness Somdetch Chowf Mahamalah Bamrahp Parapako, amid 
much parade. His Majesty accepted it, and made the for- 
tunate finder, a poor native, a present of a sum of money, as 
well as his mother and son. The Siamese officials who brought 
the elephant to Bangkok, were honored with an audience by 
His Majesty, and also given valuable presents. 

In former days the ceremonies attending the capture of a 
white elephant were very impressive. The discoverer, were 
he the humblest man in the kingdom, was immediately made 
a mandarin : he was exempted from taxation for the remain- 
der of his life, and presented with large sums of money, the 
king himself giving him one thousand dollars. As soon as 
the capture was made, a special courier was despatched to 
the king, and a posse of nobles with gifts and robes started 
immediately for the scene of action. The ropes which the 
captors used in binding the royal victim were replaced by 
stout cords of scarlet silk. Mandarins attended to the slight- 
est wants of the animal. Rich feather-fans with gilt handles 
were used to keep the insects from it during the day, while a 
silk embroidered mosquito-net was provided at night. To 
remove it to the capital, a boat was built especially for the 
purpose, and a magnificent canopy erected over it, orna- 
mented and bedecked as were the king's palaces. Silk dra- 
peries, heavy with gold and silver, enclosed the royal prisoner; 


and in this state he floated down the river, receiving the 
acclamations of the people. When near the city, it was 
landed, the king and his court going out to meet and escort 
it to the city, where a place had been built for it within the 
royal palace-grounds. A large tract of land was set apart 
for his country-place, chosen from the best the kingdom 
afforded. A cabinet of ministers was appointed, and a large 
retinue of other nobles, to attend to its wants. The priest 
of the king was ordered to administer to its spiritual needs, 
and it had physicians to see to its physical requirements. 
Gold and silver dishes were supplied to feed it from, and 
every want was attended to as became one of the royal fam- 
ily. The city devoted three days to festivities, and the rich 
mandarins made it rare presents. 

When a white elephant died, the ceremonies were the same 
as those of a king or cpueen. The body lay in state for sev- 
eral days ; and then it was placed upon a funeral pyre, and 
cremated. This pyre often cost thousands of dollars, being 
made of the choicest sandal, sassafras, and other valuable 
woods. After the body had been thoroughly cremated, it 
was allowed to remain three days more ; then the ashes were 
collected, and placed in costly urns, and buried in the royal 
cemetery, a magnificent mausoleum being erected over the 

A friend of the author, who visited the land of the white 
elephant a few years ago, states that, when he observed a white 
elephant, about twenty natives were standing around, whom 
he was informed by the guide were mandarins and nobles of 
the highest class, who formed the cabinet of the elephant : in 
fact, they were a body selected for their dignity and rank. 
One was chief minister of the cabinet, and the others held 


different offices. Other nobles were attached directly to the 
person of his celestial highness. One fed him with bananas 
and rare fruits difficult to obtain : another gently brushed 
away the flies from its head, and created a breeze. About 
the room were various objects which bespoke its royal nature. 
The ropes, umbrellas, and blankets were of the finest descrip- 
tion, many being ornamented with seeming gems. Later he 
witnessed the ceremony of the bath ; and no spectacle, he said, 
that he had ever observed in America, began to compare with 
it. The entire city seemed to turn out and make a holiday 
of the occasion. When the march was taken up, the ele- 
phant stepped out heavily caparisoned. Elegant silks, 
trimmed with scarlet, silver, white, and gold, depended from 
its back : over its head was held the royal umbrella, a gor- 
geous affair, supported by gilded rods held in the hands of 
eight mandarins, four of whom marched on each side. On 
the animal's tusks were bands of solid gold; and as he 
moved solemnly along, surrounded by other nobles, his minis- 
ters, and attendants, all in rich garbs, with a shouting but 
respectful crowd all about it, it was certainly an impressive 
and wonderful sight. At the river the trappings were taken 
off, and the elephant plunged in and enjoyed himself after 
the manner of plebeian elephants. When the bath was fin- 
ished, its feet were re-washed, and dried on a silken towel : 
the silks and rich stuffs were then replaced, a band of music 
struck up, and the procession took up the return march. 
Once at court, the newly captured white elephant is hon- 
ored by titles which are conferred upon him by the king, 
some of which are "Gem of the Sky," "Glory of the Land," 
" Radiance of the World," " Leveller of the Earth," etc. 
The king often took advantage of the capture of an ele- 


phant, to replenish the royal treasury; and, when the animal 
was housed in the palace, an invitation was sent out to the 
rich merchants to come and pay their respects. This meant 
literally to make presents to the white elephant, which, of 
course, were used by the king. People who wished to obtain 
favors from His Majesty, took this occasion to offer valuable 
gifts. In some cases, it was money ; in others, objects of art ; 
and one present was a vase of solid gold weighing four hun- 
dred and eighty ounces. 

Zachard, an old traveller, saw a white elephant in Siam 
which was said to be over two hundred years old, over which 
there had been much blood shed. It lived in a magnificent 
pavilion, and had one hundred attendants, who fed it from 
vessels of gold. When Mr. Crawford was in Siam, the king 
had six white elephants; and the King of Ava possessed 
only one, which was fastened directly in front of the palace. 
While Mr. Crawford was in Ava, a report was sent to the 
king that a white elephant had been captured," but it could 
not be forwarded without the destruction of ten thousand 
baskets of rice. To which the king replied, " What signifies 
the destruction of ten thousand baskets of rice in compari- 
son with the possession of a white elephant ! " and the order 
for the beast was immediately given. 

The white elephant now in the possession of the King of 
Ava, who styles himself " Lord of the White Elephant," is, 
according to Vincent, a vicious brute of medium size, with 
white eyes, and the forehead and ears sjjotted white (pink), 
appearing as if they had been rubbed with pumice stone 
or sand-paper ; but the remainder of the body is as black 
as coal. The animal is kept chained in the centre of a pa- 
vilion, surrounded by the adjuncts of royalty, which consist 


of gold and white cloth umbrellas, an embroidered canopy, 
a bundle of spears, dishes, etc. Mr. Vincent was informed 
that a young white elephant had recently been captured in 
the north-eastern part of British Burmah, near Tounghoo; 
but it died, and the king had been " out of sorts " ever 

Mr. Vincent also inspected the white elephants at Bang- 
kok, and found them fastened to posts in large sheds, covered 
with gilt canopies very much as were those at Mandalay. 
The keeper fed the animals with bananas in his presence, 
and caused the Apis of Buddha, as they call the animal, to 
salute an American, probably for the first time. The salaam, 
or salutation, consisted in raising the proboscis to the fore- 
head, and then lowering it slowly and gracefully to the 

With these white elephants were several white monkeys, 
which were kept to ward off evil spirits. White animals of 
all kinds are considered abodes of transmigrating souls by 
Buddhists. Sir John Bowring saw the white monkey honored 
with special attention. The veneration received by white 
elephants may perhaps be explained by the fact that all 
white animals are believed to be the abiding-place of some 
mighty Buddha ; and by possessing such an animal, having 
the deity in the family, as it were, they may receive any 
advantages that may accrue from the association. 

Curiously enough, with the downfall of the infamous 
Theebaw came that of his white elephant. The king left 
Mandalay, Nov. 29, 1885, accompanied by his queen, Soopya- 
lot. The day the city fell, the white elephant died ; and its 
body was dragged out of the palace-yard by the British 
troops on the following day. It was reported that the king 


ordered its destruction rather than have such a prize fall into 
the hands of the British. 

This elephant, which was no whiter than the Barnum 
specimen, lived in great pomp in the palace enclosure, eating 
and drinking out of huge silver buckets. 

The finest white elephant caught in late years is described 
by Mr. Carl Bock, who states that it was brought into Bang- 
kok with all the pomp and ceremony of an emperor. 
According to Mr. Bock, it was quite an albino, the whole 
body being of a pale reddish-brown color, with a few white 
hairs on the back. The iris of the eye, the color of which is 
held to be a good test of an albino, was a pale Naples yellow. 
The animal was blessed and baptized in presence of the king 
and the nobility. One of the high priests presented it with 
a piece of sugar-cane, on which was written the elephant's 
name in full, and which it very readily ate. The following 
is a translation of its description painted on a red tablet, 
hung over one of the pillars of its stall : " An elephant of 
beautiful color ; hair, nails, and eyes are white. Perfection 
in form, with all signs of regularity of the high family. The 
color of the skin is that of lotos. A descendant of the 
angels of the Brahmins. Acquired as property by the power 
and glory of the king for his service. Is equal to the crystal 
of the highest value. Is of the highest family of all in ex-~ 
istence. A source of power of attraction of rain. It is as 
pure as the purest crystal of the highest value in the world." 

As the white elephant is so highly esteemed in the Oriental 
countries, it would be surprising if obstacles were not laid in 
the way of their being taken to foreign lands. Hence a white 
elephant was never seen in a Western country before the ad- 
vent of Mr. Barnum's now famous Toung Taloung, whose 


passage from its native country to America was highly 
exciting and dramatic. 

The first white elephant ever seen out of its native land 
was one that was exhibited in Holland in 1633. The second 
was the Barnum elephant, which was brought to England in 
1884, and from there shipped to America. 1 

Sir John Bowring states' that it is almost impossible to put 
a price upon a white elephant ; and he mentions fifty thou- 
sand dollars as a sum that might buy one ; adding that a 
single hair from the tail of a white elephant was worth a 
Jew's ransom. The Barnum white elephant, it is said, cost 
two hundred thousand dollars by the time it was landed in 
America, — probably the most expensive pachyderm that 
ever lived. The agents sent to Siam and Burmah by Mr. 
Barnum had instructions to obtain the finest white elephant 
that money could buy. They crossed the Pacific, sailed 
down the coast of China, and finally reached Siam, where 
they endeavored to gain an interview with the first king. 
By him they were referred to the second, who indignantly 
refused their offer to purchase one of the white elephants. 
Some of the people, hearing of it, became enraged ; and the 
men narrowly escaped injury. For months they followed up 
various clews, but at last found an elephant owned by the 
estate of a nobleman, whose widow agreed to part with 
the animal, which to her was an expensive luxury. Finally 
all arrangements were made ; and the elephant was placed in 
a boat, and floated down the Irrawaddy to Rangoon. At 
almost every village they had difficulty, the people seeming 
to have a strong objection to the creature leaving the 
country: finally some fanatical natives secreted themselves 

i See Plate XI. 


in the steamer, and, it is believed, poisoned the noble 
animal, for it died suddenly before reaching Singapore. I 
have seen photographs of it, and the tusks are now in the 
possession of Mr. J. H. Hutchinson of New York. The ele- 
phant was, if any thing, a finer specimen than Toung Taloung. 
The white-elephant hunters became so discouraged, that 
they returned home, but were, however, sent out again, and 
went through almost a repetition of their former experience. 
Through the influence of some English residents, they finally 
secured a typical white elephant. The permission of King 
Theebaw was essential before it could leave the country, and 
this was obtained with the condition that the white elephant 
should always receive the same attention that it did in 
Burmah. This was readily consented to, as it was to Mr. 
Barnum's interest to exhibit the animal with the same sur- 
roundings that characterized its life in Siam. The following 
is the bill of sale sworn to by H. Porter, Esq., notary public 
at Rangoon : — 


We who have signed below, Moung Tsaw, Kyah Yoe, Shoay Att 
Hpaw, these three having heard the statement of the American master, 
a rich man's agent from a distant country who wishes to have and possess 
the Nyan Zone [sacred elephant] Toung Taloung, which we now own, 
from the estate of Htan Yoe Ban, who is dead. We having sworn him 
[the agent] before God, and under the holy tree on the hill, he promises 
he will take him [elephant] straight to his master, to love and protect 
him from all misery. If not, he knows he cannot escape the evil abode. 
We have got from American master 30,000 gold rupees [about $200,000] 
to repair our gods, images, and monasteries. 

We write and give this document under our own free will and to sign. 



Moung H. Pay, District Elder. 


In the year 1245, month of Ta Sung Mong, fifth increase at Mandalay, 
I, Moung Thee, minister of royal elephants, hereby certify that the ele- 
phant named Toung Taloung is the species of white sacred elephant, and 
possesses the qualifications and attributes of such. 

By order of 


King and Lord of all White Elephants, Moung Thee. 

(Signed) w. malling, 


Other papers and testimonials from prominent people 
accompanied these documents, testifying to its identity ; and, 
every thing being in readiness, the march was commenced 
from Mandalay overland to Rangoon, a distance of seven 
hundred miles. This trip was one of no little danger. They 
were continually stopped in native towns ; and rumors fol- 
lowed them to the effect that King Theebaw had changed 
his mind, fearing that ill luck would follow the loss of one 
of the animals. But finally the little band, which consisted 
of several white men and natives, Toung Taloung, and four 
black elephants, upon which were three white monkeys, the 
images of the Buddhist god Gautama, the golden umbrellas, 
etc., reached the Irrawaddy River, four hundred miles from 
Mandalay. In one village they were nearly mobbed ; in 
another imprisoned, and a lawsuit commenced. But finally 
they were released ; and the white elephant was placed on 
the steamer " Tenasserim," and, guarded day and night, 
crossed the Bay of Bengal, and safely reached Liverpool, 
from where it was shipped to the United States. I was in- 
vited to go down the bay on the special steamer to be among 


the first to see a white elephant on American shores ; and I 
well remember the smile of satisfaction that illumined the 
face of the genial Barnum, when an ex-United-States minister 
to one of the Eastern countries, who was of the party, spoke 
up, and said, as we all stood around the sacred beast in the 
hold of the " Lydian Monarch," " I have seen all the white 
elephants of the kings of Burmah and Siam, and consider 
this an exceptionally fine example of what is known as the 
sacred white elephant." 

The general public, however, expected to see a pure white 
elephant, and naturally much criticism was provoked. I 
believe that Mr. Barnum now claims as much credit in edu- 
cating the American public as to what constitutes a white 
elephant, as he did in bringing the historic animal from its 
native country. 

Toung Taloung is a finely formed elephant, about eight 
feet in height, with perfect and finely developed tusks three 
feet in lengtho Its nails are ivoiy-hued, and its general color 
a light gray, which presents some contrast to ordinary ele- 
phants. Upon the head, trunk, and ears are several pink 
blotches, white by courtesy, or, rather, because King Theebaw 
chose to consider them so. 

Toung Taloung has a mild and peaceful disposition, and 
does not object in the slightest to being fed upon delicacies, 
and waited upon by native attendants. He is now about 
sixteen years old. 

A second so-called white elephant, the "Light of Asia," 
was imported into this country by Adam Forepaugh of 
Philadelphia soon after the advent of Toung Taloung. It is 
a male, about seven years old, and a little over five feet in 
height, its tusks just appearing. 




WHILE the elephant of Ceylon does not differ specifi- 
cally from its cousins of Continental India, there are 
certain facts of interest about it that would seem to warrant 
special attention. In 1847, according to Tennent, they were 
found over nearly the entire island, with the exception of a 
narrow but densely inhabited belt of cultivated land that 
extends along the seaboard from Chilaw on the Western 
coast to Tangalle on the south-east : this is, to some extent, 
true to-day, their great tracks being found in forests and 
plains where the surroundings are adapted to their require- 
ments. There has, however, been a noticeable diminution 
of their numbers in certain localities. 

Thus, Le Brim, who visited Ceylon in 1705, says that then 
they were very abundant in the country about Colombo, and 
that he had seen one hundred and sixty at a time in a corral. 
It is also known, that, in olden times, it was necessary in 
some localities to keep fires burning at night, in order to 
keep them away from the rice-fields. The opening up of the 
country, and the clearing off of the mountain forests of 
Kandy by coffee-planters, has also restricted their range ; 
while sportsmen and others have greatly reduced their 


i See Plate XII. 


From the date of the first Punic war, the natives have 
been aware of their value, and have captured them to send 
to India for various purposes, — formerly for use in war, and 
to-day as laborers in the great lumber-yards, and in other 
positions where great strength is required. 

The number of elephants exported from Ceylon between 
the years 1863 and 1876 was sixteen hundred and fifty- 
seven, a showing that has no comparison with Africa. 
The Ceylon elephants are remarkable for the absence of 
tusks. So marked is this, a Ceylon elephant with these 
sexual weapons is something of a curiosity, not one in 
a hundred having them, and then only the males being 
the fortunate possessors. They are not totally unarmed; 
as nearly all have stunted tusks, generally about a foot 
in length, and two inches in diameter. With these they 
loosen earth, strip the bark from trees, and tear down 
climbing-plants. That the tusks are in general use, is 
shown by the fact that nearly all have a groove worn in 
the extremities. 

Many ingenious theories have been advanced to explain 
this lack of development. The most feasible explanation 
would seem to be, that, in Ceylon, the elephants had less 
use for weapons of defence than on the main-land. 

The Ceylon elephant leads a quiet, pastoral life compared 
to its ally of Africa, who, if not attacked, is menaced by 
rhinoceros and lion ; while the tiger, though not the master 
of the Asiatic elephant, infuses it with a wholesome dread, 
and will attack it if the true king of beasts is at a dis- 

In the chapter on Continental Asiatic Elephants, the dis- 
tinguishing points of elephants are given. In Ceylon, they 


differ again ; and in a Singhalese work, the " Hastisilpe," 
which treats of the management of these animals, the author 
says an inferior elephant (one that corresponds probably to 
the Meerga caste) has " eyes restless like those of a crow, the 
hair of the head mixed shades, the nails short and green, 
the ears small, the neck thin, the skin freckled, the tail 
without a tuft, and the fore-quarters lean and low." The 
perfect type, corresponding to the Koomeriah grade of India, 
is characterized by " softness of the skin, the red color of the 
mouth and tongue, the forehead expanded and hollow, the 
ears broad and rectangular, the trunk broad at the root, and 
blotched with pink in front, the eyes bright and kindly, the 
cheeks large, the neck full, the back level, the chest square, 
the fore-legs short, and convex in front, the hindquarter 
plump, and five nails on each foot, all smooth, polished, and 
round." An elephant with these perfections, says the same 
author, " will impart glory and magnificence to the king : but 
he cannot be discovered among thousands ; yea, there shall 
never be found an elephant clothed at once with all the 
excellences here described." 

The noises which Ceylon elephants utter, while undoubt- 
edly identical with those of India and Bengal, seem to have 
a rather different meaning imputed to them. The shrill cry 
uttered through the trunk is indicative of rage, and is gen- 
erally given when the animal is rushing upon its adversary. 
When the attention of an individual elephant of a herd is at- 
tracted by any unusual object, the intelligence is conveyed 
to the others by a low, suppressed sound, uttered by the lips, 
and compared by hunters to the word "prut," or the twitter- 
ing of a bird. Major Macready, military secretary of Cey- 
lon, describes a sound that he heard made by a wild elephant 


as "a sort of a banging noise, like a cooper hammering a 
cask," produced, lie believes, by the animal striking its sides 
rapidly with its trunk. It may have been made, as has been 
previously described, by striking the tip of the trunk against 
the ground. 

In size the Ceylon elephants average about the same as 
the continental animals, about nine feet. Wolf, a chaplain, 
who resided in Ceylon many years, states that he saw one 
that was taken near Jaffna which was twelve feet in height. 
Perhaps this animal was measured by throwing a rope over 
its back, and accepting one-half as the height, which would 
be at least twelve inches in excess of what it should be. 
The herds in Ceylon are generally families, and, as a rule, 
greatly resemble each other. The most powerful tusker is 
the leader, though a strong-minded female is often implicitly 
obeyed. Tennent considers that a herd recognizes the tusker- 
in-chief as a leader, and will support him in danger. He 
cites an instance where a tusker was wounded, and the rest 
of the herd crowded about him, covering his retreat to the 
forest. I am inclined to think, however, that the observ- 
ers misinterpreted the actions of the herd, and that the 
tusker's presence in the centre was accidental, or the result 
of his superior strength. 

That elephants have a method of communication, no one 
can doubt. An interesting instance of this was reported to 
Sir Emerson Tennent by Major Skinner of the British army, 
who spent many years in the jungle, and was a competent 
and intelligent observer. He says, " The case you refer to 
struck me as exhibiting something more than ordinary brute 
instinct, and approached nearer to reasoning powers than 
any other instance I can now remember. I cannot do jus- 



TILUfcrt i JiXli)* riONS. 

C l_ 


tice to the scene ; although it appeared to me at the time to 
be so remarkable, that it left a deep impression in my mind. 
In the dry season in Nenera-Kalawa, you know the streams 
are all dried up, and the tanks nearly so. All animals are 
then sorely pressed for water ; and they congregate in the 
vicinity of those tanks, in which there may remain ever so 
little of the precious element. During one of these seasons, 
I was encamped on the bund, or embankment, of a very small 
tank, the water in which was so dried that its surface could 
not have exceeded five hundred square yards. It was the 
only pond within many miles, and I knew that of necessity a 
very large herd of elephants which had been in the neighbor- 
hood all day must resort to it at night. On the lower side 
of the tank, and on a line with the embankment, was a thick 
forest, in which the elephants sheltered themselves during 
the day. On the upper side, and all about the tank, there 
was considerable margin of open ground. It was one of 
those beautiful, bright, clear, moonlight nights, when objects 
could be seen almost as distinctly as by day ; and I deter- 
mined to avail myself of the opportunity to observe the 
movements of the herd, which had already manifested some 
uneasiness at our presence. The locality was very favorable 
for my purpose, and an enormous tree projecting over the 
tank afforded me a secure lodgement in its branches. Having 
ordered the fires of my camp to be extinguished at an early 
hour, and all my followers to retire to rest, I took up my 
post of observation on the overhanging bough ; but I had 
to remain for upwards of two hours before any thing was to 
be seen or heard of the elephants, although I knew they 
were within five hundred yards of me. At length, about 
the distance of three hundred feet from the water, an im- 


mensely large elephant issued from the dense cover, and 
advanced cautiously across the open ground to within one 
hundred } r ards of the tank, where he stood perfectly motion- 
less. So quiet had the elephants become, although they had 
been roaring, and beating the jungle, throughout the day 
and evening, that not a movement was now heard. 

" The huge vidette remained in his position still as a rock 
for a few moments, and then made three successive stealthy 
advances of several yards (halting for some minutes between 
each, with ears bent forward to catch the slightest sound) ; 
and, in this way, he moved slowly up to the water's edge. 
Still, he did not venture to quench his thirst ; for, though 
his fore-feet were partially in the water, he remained for some 
minutes, listening in perfect silence. He returned cautiously 
and slowly to the position he had at first taken upon emer- 
ging from the forest. Here, in a little while, he was joined 
by five others; with them he again proceeded, as cautiously, 
but less slowly, to within a few yards of the tank, and then 
posted his patrols. He then re-entered the forest, and col- 
lected around him the whole herd, between eighty and one 
hundred, led them across the open ground with the most 
extraordinary composure and quietness till he joined the 
advance-guard, when he left them for a moment, and re- 
peated his former reconnaissance at the edge of the tank. 
Having apparently satisfied himself that all was safe, he 
returned, and obviously gave the order to advance ; for in 
a moment the whole herd rushed into the water with a 
degree of unreserved confidence so opposite to the caution 
and timidity which had marked their previous movements, 
that nothing will ever persuade me that there was not rational 
and preconcerted co-operation throughout the whole party, 


and a degree of responsible authority exercised by the 
patriarch leader." 

The caution exhibited by the elephants here mentioned is 
characteristic of these animals ; and so suspicious are they, 
that a fence of the simplest kind is often sufficient to pre- 
vent their inroads. Near Anarajapoora, there was formerly 
a pond, in which elephants drank ; and near by, enclosed in 
a very frail fence, was some vegetation growing, especially 
attractive to the elephant; yet the latter was a complete 
protection to it. 

From caution or curiosity, elephants often pull up the 
tracing-pegs put down by surveyors ; and this has also been 
noticed in the continental elephants. 

Some of the bravest elephant-hunters are found in Ceylon. 
They follow the animal as a profession, and are called pan- 
ickeas, and live in the Moorish villages in the northern and 
north-eastern part of the island. Their remarkable skill in 
following the huge game calls to mind that of the Indians of 
our own continent. Frequently two panickeas will chase an 
elephant, and capture it single-handed. Their method is to 
keep to the leeward of the animal, and creep upon it when 
feeding, and fasten a slip-noose about the leg, that is often 
lifted, or kept in motion. This accomplished, the elephant 
turns, and endeavors to break away ; but the rope is secured 
to a tree, and the monster is caught. A man now rushes in 
front, and shouts the monosyllable, "Dah! dak!" that seems 
to have some irritating effect. This attracts attention from 
the other man, who now throws a noose about the other leg ; 
and soon the elephant is completely in the toils. A covering 
is then built over it, a camp formed, and the initiatory train- 
ing performance commenced. 


The animals are generally trained, however, by Arabs, and 
go to the rajahs and native princes in India, whose agents 
were formerly, and to some extent at present, sent to Ceylon 
for the purpose. 

So brave are these men, that they seem to have absolutely 
no fear of the elephant ; and, if the white hunter is known 
to them as a good shot, they will go up to an elephant, and 
slap him on the leg to make him turn, and present to their 
employer a vulnerable spot. 

Most of the captured elephants of Ceylon are taken to 
Manaar: that is an important elephant depot, from which 
they are bought, and shipped to India. Arabs resort here, 
buying horses to exchange for elephants, and to trade in them 
in many ways. 

Elephants have been captured by the herd in Ceylon from 
very early times ; the process, as late as 1847, differing but 
little from that employed in India to-day. The animals were 
driven into a corral, and often two thousand men were 
employed in the hunt. Formerly the natives were forced to 
join in the hunt ; but, in later years, they have been only too 
willing, as the elephants destroy their crops. The priests 
also encourage the hunters, as the elephants devour the 
sacred Bo-trees ; and they are also desirous of obtaining 
the animals for use in the processions of the temples. 

In the drive, the men stretch out, and surround the ele- 
phants ; and, when they are encompassed, fires are built ten 
paces apart, and kept burning all day and night. Gradually 
they close in on the victims ; and in every direction, except 
that of the corral, a fusillade of guns is kept up, accompanied 
by shouts, and beating of drums, until finally the terrified 
animals rush into the corral, and are caught. When the 


elephants are entrapped, female elephants with riders enter 
the corral ; and soon the captives are noosed, and tied to 
trees. Then commence the struggles that often continue for 
hours ; the huge beasts assuming the most seemingly impos- 
sible positions, — standing on their heads, twisting their 
bodies into various shapes, breaking down trees, and vent- 
ing their rage in a variety of ways, — until, utterly wearied, 
they lie or stand, and throw dust over their bodies with their 
trunks, then insert the latter into their mouths, and withdraw 
enough water to convert it into mud. 

The wonderful sagacity, if obedience to the mahouts can 
be called such, exhibited by the female elephant, is remark- 
able. They seem to understand just what is required of 
them, — butting over fractious captives, assisting to tie them, 
kneeling upon them when they attempt to rise too quickly, 
holding their trunks when they are directed to the approach- 
ing noose, and in every way assisting their drivers, and 
showing what would generally be considered great intelli- 
gence. " The whole scene," says Sir Emerson Tennent, " ex- 
hibits the most marvellous example of the voluntary alliance 
of animal sagacity and instinct in active co-operations with 
human intelligence and courage ; and nothing else in nature, 
not even the chase of the whale, can afford so vivid an illus- 
tration of the sovereignty of man over the brute creation, 
even when confronted with force in its most stupendous 

The process of training the elephants is not so difficult as 
is generally supposed. For a few days, or until they eat 
freely, they are allowed to rest, a tame elephant being tied 
near to re-assure them; and, where a large number are being 
educated, wild ones are placed in stalls between half tame 


ones, until they take their food regularly. In the first lesson, 
the head stableman, or "Cooroowe vidahn," takes his place in 
front of a wild elephant, bearing a long, sharp, iron-pointed 
stick. Two other men station themselves on each side, 
assisted by the tame elephants, and hold their crooks toward 
the wild elephant's trunk ; while others rub his back sooth- 
ingly, chanting such epithets as, " Ho ! my son," or, " Ho ! 
my father." This irritates the animal, who immediately 
strikes out with his trunk, the men receiving it upon their 
weapons ; and, in a very short time, the elephant learns not 
to strike at a man. 

This lesson having been inculcated, number two is begun, 
which consists in taking it to bathe between two tame ele- 
phants. The feet are tied as closely as possible, and the 
great beast is made to lie down in the water by pressing its 
backbone with the crooks. This is extremely painful, and 
is met by furious protests ; but finally the animals learn to 
kneel at the slightest prick of the sharp weapons, and having 
once succumbed to the power of man, as shown in a number 
of ways, rapidly become domesticated. Kind treatment does 
much toward conciliating them ; but, like people, each ele- 
phant has its own peculiar disposition. 

In two months a wild elephant may be led without a tame 
companion ; and in three months they are generally put to 
work, at first in treading clay in brick-fields, or harnessed to 
a wagon with a tame companion, and finally in the lumber- 
yards, where all their intelligence is brought to play. 

The Ceylon elephants attain an age equal to that of the 
Indian animals. Trained elephants have been kept in use 
one hundred and forty years ; and, according to Tennent, one 
employed by Mr. Cripps was represented by the Cooroowe 


people to have served the king of Kandy in the same capa- 
city sixty years before. Among the papers left by Col. 
Robertson, who held a command in Ceylon in 1799, shortly 
after the capture of the island by the British, there is a 
memorandum showing that a decoy (female) was then at- 
tached to the elephant establishment at Molura, which the 
records proved to have served under the Dutch during the 
entire period of their occupation (extending to upwards of 
one hundred and forty years). It was said to have been 
found in the stables by the Dutch on the expulsion of the 
Portuguese in 1650. 




THE popular opinion concerning the elephant is, that it is 
treacherous, quick to avenge an insult, and possesses a 
specially retentive memory regarding injuries received. This 
is an exaggeration : when compared to other animals, the 
elephant excels in its good qualities. Vices are found only 
in exceptional cases; the average males being, as a rule, safe, 
and not susceptible to sudden changes of temper; while the 
females are particularly mild and gentle. Sanderson says, 
"Among hundreds that I have known, only two have had 
any tricks. One of these would not allow herself to be 
ridden by a strange mahout, and the other had a great aver- 
sion to any natives but her own two attendants approaching 

In the management of these animals, strict discipline al- 
ways has to be maintained. Mr. P. T. Barn um tells me, 
that while his herd of twenty or more are treated with the 
greatest kindness, yet fear is the secret of their obedience. 
The keeper never relaxes his power over them ; and, if not 
in sight, the steel hook and pointer of their trainer, though, 
perhaps, concealed, is always at hand, and ready for use. 
Even the most gentle elephants, particularly the males, are 
liable in confinement to outbursts of fury ; becoming un- 


governable, and doing great damage before they can be 
subdued or killed. 

Without warning, an elephant, which for years had been 
a quiet and docile member of the East Indian commissariat 
stud, became possessed of a veritable demon, broke loose, and 
fled trumpeting to the woods. For many weeks, it was a 
constant terror to the entire country in the vicinity; — rush- 
ing into villages, destroying houses ; and, before it was killed, 
thirty-five human beings fell victims to its fury. 

Such instances are comparatively rare ; and it should be 
said to the credit of the elephant, that while it is really the 
king of beasts, and capable of greater destruction than any 
in India, it has less casualties laid to its door than any so- 
called dangerous animal. The following table indicates this 
more plainly, and shows the number of persons and domestic 
animals destroyed by wild mammals in India during the 
year 1875, the numbers being about the same every year : — 


Tiger .... 
Leopard .... 
Bears ...» 
Wolves ...» 
Hyenas .... 

The Philadelphia elephant Dom, who was named in honor 
of Dom Pedro of Brazil, occasionally gave way to fits of 
rage, became unmanageable ; and people flocked to the garden 
to see it disciplined. This consisted of securing each foot at 
a time, and hauling them apart by strong tackles, so that the 
huge beast was utterly powerless. 











. 1,061 





Travelling around the country seems to irritate elephants, 
and reports are often seen of their outbursts of rage. The 
famous Chief, owned by Robinson, became enraged at Char- 
lotte, N.C., a few years ago, and, without the slightest warn- 
ing, killed its keeper. The latter was attempting to illustrate 
to the audience how the elephant climbed into the special car 
provided for it, when the animal lost its patience, and hurled 
the unfortunate man against the car with terrific force, kill- 
ing him before the very eyes of the people. 

Tom, the pet elephant of the Duke of Edinburgh, who was 
brought from India in 1870 in H. R. H's yacht, "Galatea," 
killed its keeper in very much the same way. 

The greatest elephant panic ever seen in this country was 
that created by Barnum's Emperor, who suddenly developed 
all the characteristics of a rogue, while the circus was ex- 
hibiting in Troy, N.Y. The trouble commenced when an 
attempt was made to drive Emperor and Jumbo to the train. 
The former had decided objections to continuing the tour ; 
and he suddenly bolted, and shuffled furiously up the street 
in the direction of the iron-foundery of Erastus Corning. 
The large door being open, the excited animal rushed in, and 
in a moment was trampling upon the red-hot coal and metal, 
uttering fierce shrieks. And now utterly enraged and mad, 
he rushed from the building into the crowded streets, tram- 
pling upon men, hurling others down an embankment with his 
trunk, breaking one man's leg in his flight, throwing another 
twenty feet into the air, while a woman was taken from 
the stoop of a house and hurled into the street. In fact, the 
demon of rage seemed to possess the huge creature, that ran 
amuck until he had destroyed four thousand dollars' worth 
of property. 


Another rogue elephant was Romeo, owned by the Fore- 
paugh Company, who died in Chicago in 1872, having killed 
three men, and destroyed property valued at fifty thousand 

Almost equally vicious was Mr. Barn urn's Albert. This 
elephant killed its keeper at Keene, N.H. ; and, after being 
loaded with chains, it was led out into the woods, followed 
by a large crowd, and a company of Keene riflemen. Its 
trainer, Arstinstall, marked the location of the heart upon 
the dark hide of the unsuspecting giant ; and at the word, 
the great animal fell. 

These fits of frenzy are sometimes periodic, and the ele- 
phant is then said to be must, or mad. The paroxysms vary 
in different animals. Some are lethargic, or sleepy; while 
others go mad, and endeavor to wreak vengeance upon 
any thing within reach. In the chapter on the anatomy of 
the elephant, reference is made to a pore in the temple of the 
animal ; and, when expert elephant-men see an oily liquid 
exuding from this orifice, they accept it as a warning that 
the period of must is approaching ; the elephant is immedi- 
ately shackled, and keepers and strangers are warned to keep 
out of reach. 

After this secretion has flowed for a while, the temples 
swell, and the animal is avoided by every one ; its food being 
tossed at it, or pushed toward it on the end of a pole. If, 
during this time, the elephant escapes, destruction of human 
life is almost sure to follow. They attack every living crea- 
ture, including their own kind. Sanderson says, "I once 
saw one of our tuskers, which was then only under suspicion 
of an approaching fit, break away from the control of his 
mahout, as he was being ridden to water, and, despite severe 


punishment, attack, knock down, another elephant near by; 
and, had his tusks not been cut, he would, without doubt, 
have killed her on the spot. He was at last driven off by 
spears thrown at his trunk and head. Then he stalked 
across the open plain with his mahout on his neck, fury in 
his eye, master of all he surveyed, and evidently courting 
battle from any created being. The men had a difficult and 
dangerous task to secure him. His hind-legs were at last 
tied from behind the trunk of a tree, near which he stood ; 
and the mahout having drawn up a chain by a cord, and 
secured it around his neck, he was moored fore and aft. I 
shall never forget the mahout's fervent ejaculation of 
' Allah ! Allah ! ' as he slipped over the elephant's tail when 
he was made fast." According to Mr. Sanderson, the flow 
of must is observed in both male and female elephants, but 
never in the tame females. 

Besides the elephants which are supposed to have bad 
tempers, and occasionally exhibit them, there are certain 
animals which are by nature ugly, and more or less untrust- 
worthy. These are called rogues, and by some, from their 
seeming love of a solitary life, " solitaries." The rogue ele- 
phants, or solitaries, are popularly supposed to be soured in- 
dividuals, who have been driven from a herd by rivals or 
companions ; but this is a mistake, as investigation has 
shown that supposed solitaries were often old tuskers graz- 
ing some distance from a herd. 

Certain elephants undoubtedly prefer a solitary life : but 
the so-called solitar is generally a young male who has not 
been able to assert his position in the herd, and is grazing 
along the outskirts ; or is an old and bold tusker, who 
wanders about careless of its safety. 


All seemingly isolated elephants are looked upon with 
suspicion, as, when met, they often rush to the attack, and 
prove dangerous enemies. The real rogue is usually a 
vicious tusker, such as Mandla, an elephant that was owned 
near Jubbulpore, Central Provinces. This brute was sup- 
posed to be mad, and, in 1875, suddenly developed a taste for 
human victims, — rushing at them at sight, attacking houses, 
or any object that excited its ire, and ultimately killing a 
large number of persons. This monster not only killed its 
victims, but is said to have eaten them, tearing the bodies 
limb from limb, and was known before its death as the man- 
eater. This is probably an exaggeration ; the fact being, that 
the elephant took the victim in its mouth while it tore him 
in pieces, the demoralized natives thinking that it was eating 
him. An organized hunt was made for this elephant, and it 
was finally killed by two English officers. 

A few years ago elephants in various parts of India, es- 
pecially about Morlay, became so fearless, that they entered 
fields adjoining the towns, and did great damage; some, 
showing the disposition of the typical rogue, could hardly 
be driven away. In one case in India, a number of Oopligas 
drove a herd into the hills with their horns and tomtoms ; and, 
a heavy rain coming on, they thought it hardly necessary to 
keep up the guard, so retired from the field. In the morn- 
ing, they found that a valuable lot of the Indian maize 
{Sorghum vulgare) had been destroyed, the entire herd re- 
turning as soon as the noise had ceased. Mr. Sanderson 
caught this entire herd in 1874. 

About thirty years before the man-eating elephant was 
heard of, a male rogue elephant created great devastation in 
the fields of the Morlayites. It was continually breaking 


into their rice ; but one morning, being seen near a village, 
the entire population turned out, and with hue and cry gave 
chase. The rogue, who was also a coward, dashed away, 
rushing blindly into a marsh, or morass, and soon sank to its 
knees in soft mud, and was almost completely at the mercy 
of the pursuers. They surrounded it, and rained stones and 
other missiles upon it ; and finally, one native, more revenge- 
ful and cruel than the others, threw some lighted straw upon 
the poor creature's back. The terrible wounds seemed to 
spur it to greater exertions; and it finally escaped, and 
ultimately recovered, being often seen and recognized by its 

Sanderson mentions two tuskers which travelled about 
together, "twin solitaries." They were extremely vicious, 
had killed people, and were finally proscribed by the govern- 
ment. One of the tuskers was killed by Mr. Sanderson in 
1870. Referring to rogue elephants which he had observed, he 
says, k> I had just finished dinner, and was enjoying a smoke 
before a blazing camp-fire, which lit to their topmost branches 
a pair of magnificent tamarind-trees, under which my tent 
was pitched, when I heard a distant shout of ; A nay ! ' (ele- 
phants). At once, lights began to flit over the plain, moving 
towards one point ; tomtoms were beaten, and rattles made 
from split bamboo sounded. An elephant trumpeted shrilly, 
the men yelled in defiance, till the intruders retreated to the 
jungle. The cover bordering on cultivation was so dense as 
to afford secure shelter to elephants close at hand, even 
during the day. After some little time, when the tomtom- 
ming and noise had ceased, a similar commotion took place at 
another point: again the Will-o'-the-wisp lights moved for- 
ward, with a repetition of the shouting and trumpeting. 


The villagers who were keeping up my camp-fire told me 
that it was only on occasional nights that the elephants 
visited cultivation. The watchers were evidently in for it 
now, and they became thoroughly alert at all points. 

" Once the elephants came within two hundred yards of 
my camp ; and, long after I went to bed, I heard the shouting 
and rattling of the watchers. These men were the Strolagas 
from the hills : they were hired annually for a month or two, 
at a fixed payment in grain, for watching their crops, by the 
low-country cultivators, who are themselves less able to 
stand the exposure on a rice-flat, and less bold in interfer- 
ing with elephants. The watchers provide themselves with 
torches of light split bamboos in bundles, about eight feet 
long, and eight inches in diameter. These are lighted at one 
end, when required, and make a famous blaze. Armed with 
them, the men sally forth to the spot where the elephants are 
feeding. Some carry the torches ; the others precede them, 
so as to have the light behind them. The elephants can be 
seen on open ground one hundred yards, should they wait to 
let the lights get so close. Some troublesome rogues get 
beyond caring for this ; though the men are very bold, and 
approach within forty or fifty yards. Natives have often 
told me of particular elephants letting them get within a few 
yards, and then putting their trunks into their mouths, and 
withdrawing water, squirting it at the lights. I hardly need 
say that the latter part of the statement is purely imaginary ; 
the idea doubtless arising from the attitude elephants often 
assume when in uncertainty or perplexity, putting the trunk 
into the mouth, and holding the tip gently between the lips." 

The large area of rice-fields on the bed of the Honganoor 
Lake was assessed long ago at one-third the usual rates, on 


account of the depredations of elephants. Mr. Sanderson 
adds, however, that the actual damage done to crops by ele- 
phants is much less than popularly supposed. 

In capturing wild elephants, numbers of tuskers which have 
escaped, often follow the herd, and wander about the camps 
at night. On one occasion, a large female charged a tame 
elephant and rider. The latter was warned by a native, and 
slipped around his elephant's neck just in time to save his 
life ; but the jaws of the old rogue struck his thigh, and she 
endeavored to crush him with her single tusk. He drove his 
goad into her mouth, when she drew off, and came on again 
at full speed. The rider again dodged over his elephant's 
neck, and a second time the single tusk struck his leg. 
This was repeated several times ; and the rider, whose ele- 
phant was in the midst of a herd of wild ones in a corral, 
was in despair, when one of his assistants hurled a spear, 
striking the rogue in the head. A moment later, the latter's 
elephant struck her a terrific blow, head on, almost knocking 
her over, and completely turning the scales. 

Tame tuskers, under the direction of a mahout, soon out- 
wit wild elephants in a battle. Females rarely fight among 
themselves; but, when they do, their spite is vented upon 
one another in a ludicrous and aggravating manner, by biting 
off each other's tails. 

Sanderson had a singular adventure with a rogue elephant 
who attempted to enter his tent at night. He started to his 
feet, first seeing his tent rip, and, on looking out, discovered 
that a wild elephant was tearing it with its tusks. The 
next day, it was found torn in two, with two tusk-holes in it. 
The next night a guard of men and a tame elephant was 
established ; but at midnight, he was awakened by feeling 


the tent shake. Leaping to his feet, he looked out, saw the 
men asleep, and the tame elephant some distance off. While 
he stood, there came a crash, and the small tent fell in ; 
when he found that probably the same elephant was investi- 
gating again ; but, before he could clear himself from the 
canvas, it had made off, startled by the noise. The attack 
was probably made out of mere curiosity, or, perhaps, in a 
spirit of mischief. They have been known to trample down 
embankments, overturn telegraph-poles, haul up surveying- 
pins ; and once, when a surveying-party left their chain over 
night in a jungle, it could be heard jingling occasionally, the 
elephants evidently being pleased with the sound it made. 
A famous rogue elephant for months devastated the coun- 
try about Kakankote. It first destroyed the crops; and 
gradually becoming bolder and bolder, it finally actually 
took possession of a strip of the country about eight miles 
long, including a part of the main road between Mysore and 
the Wynaad. No one dared to travel in the road ; the mon- 
ster charging every one, finally killing two natives. This 
aroused the populace ; and the amildar, or native official, ap- 
pealed to the government elephant-keeper for protection. A 
few days later, he was on the ground, and, with a party of 
Kurrabas trackers, was ready to slay the rogue. So great 
was the alarm, that the hunter found native policemen at the 
entrance of the jungle, to warn travellers of the elephant; 
and all Avho went through were preceded by natives, who, 
with tomtoms and other instruments, endeavored to frighten 
the brute, who was well known to every one by his large 
size, black color, and peculiar, up-curved, short tusks. For 
several days the professional hunter followed the great ani- 
mal, and came up with him ; but, by an unfortunate stam- 


pecle, he lost him, and the hunt had to be given up for the 
time. Five months later it was renewed : and, after a long 
chase, the rogue was found in a bamboo thicket; then, after 
waiting for a fair shot, the hunter fired a heavy bullet, 
putting it just behind the shoulder. 

For a second, there was a deathly silence, then, with a ter- 
rific scream, the monster dashed away ; and the men, in full 
pursuit, were soon covered with blood that flowed from the 
wounds. The rogue ran for two hundred yards, and, when 
the Kurrabas came upon him, presented a terrible appear- 
ance. He was facing his foes, his trunk doubled, head ele- 
vated, and blood rushing from his mouth ; yet the animal's 
eyes were gleaming with fury, and it was ready to sell its life 
dearly. The hunter fired with a four-bore rifle ; the bullet 
penetrating the brain, and killing him upon the spot. As 
the huge creature rolled over, the men crawled upon its 
upper side, which was six feet from the grass. The head and 
feet were taken ; the former being placed on the main road 
for some time, to inform the natives that the end of the 
rogue had come. 

The tusks of this elephant were small, being ten inches in 
circumference at the gum, and weighed twenty-two and a 
half pounds, curving up in a curious way. 

Capt. Dunlop, of the British army, refers to a rogue ele- 
phant in the Doon, named Gunesh. It was the property of 
the government, but escaped, and for years caused a reign 
of terror in the country. It had a chain upon its leg, and 
the clank of this in the jungle near a village demoralized the 
entire populace. For fifteen years this brute wandered about, 
destroying rice-fields; and, during that time, it killed over 
fifteen persons. 


Another rogue followed a courier of the English postal 
service, and trampled him to death. 

While the canal of Beejapore was being made, a rogue 
elephant charged upon the men from some bushes, and seized 
one ; then, pressing the body under its ponderous feet, the 
fiend deliberately pulled away the upper portion of it, and 
with a remnant in its trunk ran back into the bush. 

Some woodmen engaged in cutting trees in the jungle 
about Chandnee-Doon, had an almost identical experience. 
One day three of them remained at home ; while, during the 
day, one of the men went to a neighboring spring to draw 
some water. As he did not return, one of his companions 
went after him; and that evening they were both found 
dead, their bones being crushed and broken. The rogue 
had seized and thrown them to the ground, crushing them 
by a tread of its ponderous foot. 

In Ceylon, the rogue is called a hora, or ronkedor ; the 
Singhalese, according to Tennent, believing it to be an in- 
dividual that has either lost its associates by accident, and, 
from its solitary life, become morose and savage ; or a natu- 
rally vicious individual, that, being more daring, has sepa- 
rated itself from its companions. Whatever may be the 
reason for the savage temper exhibited by .these solitary 
brutes, they constitute a characteristic of elephant life, and, 
in Ceylon, seem to possess the same likes and dislikes that 
mark the African and Asiatic rogues. 

More daring than the peacefully disposed elephants, they 
come out of the jungle at night, and prowl around the towns 
and villages, trampling down cultivated tracts, devouring the 
standing rice and young cocoa-palms, becoming so bold in 
some places, that one has been known to enter a field, and 


seize a sheaf from a pile in the very midst of a party of 
workers, who fled in terror. As a rule, however, they remain 
concealed by day, committing their depredations by night. 
In some sections, as the low country of Badulla, the villagers 
build moats or ditches about their huts to protect themselves 
from the rogues. 

Certain localities seem to be infested by these creatures. 
Thus, in 1847, a dangerous rogue frequented the Rangbodde 
Pass on a mountain road, that Ted to the Sanitarium at 
Neuera-ellia, and demoralized the entire country so that 
people were afraid to undertake the pass unless in numbers. 
Its method of attack was to seize natives, as it did a Caffre 
of the Caffre Corps of pioneers, with its trunk, and beat the 
victim to death against the bank. 

Some years ago a native trader and party were travelling 
near Idalgasinna, when they suddenly heard the shrill trum- 
peting of a rogue. The entire company took to their heels ; 
the coolies casting away their goods, and making for the 
jungle. The trader himself hid behind a large rock, and saw 
the elephant seize one of the coolies, and, after carrying him 
a short distance, dash him to the ground, and trample upon 
him ; then turning to the goods they carried, he tore them in 
pieces, after which he walked into the jungle. This ele- 
phant was a noted rogue, and in its time destroyed the lives 
of a number of people. He was finally killed by an English 

A native made a statement to a Singhalese gentleman, 
who in turn imparted the information to Sir Emerson Ten- 
nent, that once, when he was on his way to Badulla, and 
walking around a hill, a large elephant rushed upon his 
party without warning, trumpeting loudly. In a moment, he 


had seized the native's companion, who, it happened, was in 
the rear, and killed him by hurling him to the ground. 
Dropping the first victim, he then seized the narrator of the 
incident, and hurled him aloft with such force that he landed 
in the branches of a cahata-tree, and lodged there, thus es- 
caping with only a dislocation of the wrist. The elephant 
returned to the body upon the ground, and tore it limb from 
limb, mutilating it as much as possible. 

Rogue elephants in Ceylon are often very mischievous. 
In some sections, the tracing-pegs that have been put down 
by surveyors during one day, are pulled up the next by ele- 
phants. Rogues, like other elephants, are very suspicious. 
Col. Hardy, at one time deputy quartermaster-general in 
Ceylon, was travelling to an outpost in the south-eastern por- 
tion of the island, and one day became lost, and was attacked 
at dusk by a rogue. He ran for cover, but was almost 
caught, when he happened to think of his dressing-case ; and, 
throwing it down, his pursuer came to an immediate stand- 
still, stopping to examine it carefully, while the officer 

Other rogues destroy every thing they can find. In " The 
Colombo Observer" of March, 1858, there was a reward 
of twenty-five guineas offered for the destruction of an 
elephant that had taken up its residence in the Rajawalle* 
coffee-plantation near Kandy. The huge animal terrified the 
people for miles about; its plan being, to come out of the jun- 
gle at night, and pull down buildings and trees on the plan- 
tation. It seemed to have an especial spite for the pipes of 
the water-works, the pillars of which it tore down ; while the 
tops were all destroyed by this curious animal, who was 
finally shot. 


Some years ago a rogue elephant was wounded near the 
town of Hambangtotte by a native, and followed the latter 
into the town in a wild race, catching him in the bazaar in 
the midst of the town, and trampling him to death before a 
crowd of people, then making good its escape. 

Often tame elephants, excited by some means, become 
rogues for the time. During one of the attempts by the 
government to capture an entire herd in Ceylon, a fine tame 
tusker became intensely excited, and finally, in a frenzy of 
rage, broke down the bars of the corral with its head and 
tusks, and ran into the jungle. A few days later, its driver 
went after it with a decoy; when it approached, he cour- 
ageously leaped upon the back of the maddened beast, and 
with a pair of hooks subdued it, until it was firmly chained, 
when it allowed itself to be led away. 

That elephants do not easily forget, is shown in case of 
one that turned rogue, and escaped to the jungle, and, when 
recaptured ten years later, immediately obeyed the mahout's 
command to kneel. 

That rogue elephants are sometimes the result of inhu- 
man treatment, is shown in a terrible catastrophe, reported 
by an Indian correspondent of " The Pall Mall Gazette " as 
occurring in April of the present year, in which seventeen 
human beings lost their lives, and much valuable property 
was destroyed. 

" While an elephant was being ridden by its keeper in the 
District of Sultanpore, in Oude, the animal resented ' prod- 
ding ' with a spear, by pulling the man from his back, and 
throwing him some distance away. Fortunately the man 
fell in a hollow, and remained there undiscovered by the 
elephant, who went to a neighboring village. There he 


chased an old man into a house, then broke down the walls, 
pulled the man out, and dashed him to pieces. The same 
night the elephant knocked down several houses in quest 
of human beings, in the villages of Sardapur, Bargaon, and 
Jaisingpur. He killed six men in Bersoma, three in Sota, 
four in Gaugeo, and four in Mardan. He likewise killed a 
bullock and a pony, and also completely destroyed a new 
carriage. The animal used to stand at the door of a house, 
force his entry by demolishing the walls on either side, and 
would then kill as many of the inmates as he could, pursu- 
ing others who tried to run away. He mangled the corpses 
terribly. After securing a victim, he sometimes returned to 
the spot to see if life were extinct, and would commence 
mutilating the body afresh. He carried several bodies long 
distances, and threw them into ravines, etc. The elephant 
found his way to the Dehra Rajah's palace, where he tried 
to enter the house of a gardener ; but some men mounted on 
three elephants, assisted by spearmen, drove him off. He 
then returned to Bebipur, where he tried to break down his 
master's house, in which several persons had taken refuge. 
The police got into the house from a back window, and were 
obliged to send for help to the Dehra Rajah, who sent three 
elephants and some spearmen. The animal received two 
gun-shots on the head at Bebipur, which, however, only tem- 
porarily drove him off. He was ultimately captured at im- 
minent risk, by the rajah's three elephants and men." 




FROM the huge size of its bod)* and tusks, the African 
elephant affords, if any thing, a better opportunity of 
testing the skill and endurance of the hunter than its Asiatic 
ally. In former years, the great game was found from the 
Southern limit of Sahara to Cape Town ; but so insatiate has 
been the greed for ivory, that it has been gradually driven 
from the more exposed tracts, and is now confined to the 
most unfrequented parts of the great continent ; and as it 
is only with great difficulty and incalculable hardship that 
it can be followed, the animal is rarely hunted at the present 
day for pure sport, the ivory tusks alone being the desidera- 
tum. As about one hundred thousand elephants are killed 
every year, and they are slow breeders, their utter exter- 
mination seems only a matter of time. If the present 
depletion of the numbers of the African species continues, 
it will 'be but a memory of the past in a comparatively 
few years. 

The African elephant is followed in several ways. Some 
hunters, as Baldwin, prefer to depend upon horses, and, so 
mounted, follow the herd at full speed, leaping from the 
saddle, firing quickly, and avoiding the charge by the fleet- 
ness of the horse. Others, as Selous, prefer shooting on 


foot. The latter met with an extraordinary adventure while 
following a fine elephant, and narrowly escaped. The follow- 
ing is his account : — 

" My horse was now so tired that he stood well ; so, reining 
in, I gave her a shot from his back between the neck and the 
shoulder, which I believe just stopped her from charging. 
On receiving this wound, she backed a few paces, gave her 
ears a flap against her sides, and then stood facing me again. 
I had just taken out the empty cartridge, and was about to 
put a fresh one in, when, seeing that she looked very vicious, 
and as I was not thirty yards from her, I caught the bridle, 
and turned the horse's head away, so as to be ready for a fair 
start in case of a charge. I was still holding my rifle with 
the breech open, when I saw that she was coming. Digging 
the spurs into my horse's ribs, I did my best to get him 
away ; but he was so thoroughly done, that instead of spring- 
ing forwards, which was what the emergency required, he 
only started at a walk, and was just breaking into a canter 
when the elephant was upon us. I heard two short, sharp 
screams above my head, and had just time to think it was all 
over with me, when, horse and all, I was dashed to the 
ground. For a few seconds I was half stunned by the vio- 
lence of the shock ; and the first thing I became aware of, 
was a very strong smell of elephant. At the same instant, I 
felt that I was still unhurt, and that, though in an unpleasant 
predicament, I had still a chance for life. I was, however, 
pressed down on the ground in such a way that I could not 
extricate my head. At last, with a violent effort I wrenched 
myself loose, and threw my body over sideways, so that I 
rested on my hands. As I did so, I saw the hind-legs of the 
elephant standing like two pillars before me, and at once 


grasped the situation. She was on her knees, with her head 
and tusks in the ground; and I had been pressed down 
under her chest, but luckily behind her fore-legs. Dragging 
myself from under her, I regained my feet, and made a hasty 
retreat, having had rather more than enough of elephants for 
the time being. I retained, however, sufficient presence of 
mind to run slowly, watching her movements over my 
shoulder, and directing mine accordingly. Almost immedi- 
ately I had made my escape, she got up, and stood looking 
for me with her ears up and head raised, turning first to one 
side, and then to the other, but never wheeling quite round. 
As she made these turns, I ran obliquely to the right or left, 
as the case might be, always endeavoring to keep her stern 
towards me. At length I gained the shelter of a small bush, 
and breathed freely once more. 

"All this time I never saw my horse, which must have 
been tying amongst the grass where he had been thrown to 
the ground. I thought he was dead ; or perhaps, to speak 
more truly, I was so engrossed with my own affairs that I 
did not think about him at all. I stood now just on the 
highest ground of a gentle rise, which sloped gradually down 
to an open glade, in which, from where I was, I could see 
two dead elephants. Just then I saw a Caffre coming across 
the opening, and went down to meet him, leaving my ele- 
phant still standing on the spot where she had knocked me 
down. Being unarmed, — for my gun had been dashed from 
my hand when I fell, — I dared not go near her to look for it. 
Upon meeting the Caffre, I hastily told him what had hap- 
pened. The elephant was not now visible, being just beyond 
the crest of the rise, about two hundred yards distant ; but . 
I only stopped to take some cartridges from my trousers 



Pages 17 and 165. 



"■•'OK »NO 



pocket, and put them in my belt, and then, accompanied by 
the boy, returned to the scene of the accident to look for my 
rifle, and see what had become of my horse. On topping 
the rise, we saw him standing without the saddle ; but the 
elephant had walked away, and was no longer visible. Going 
up to my horse, I found that he had received an ugly wound 
in the buttock from behind, from which the blood was stream- 
ing down the leg : otherwise, barring a few abrasions, he was 
unhurt. Whilst the boy was searching for my rifle, I looked 
round for the elephant, which I knew had only just moved 
away, and, seeing a cow standing amongst some bushes not 
two hundred yards from me, made sure it was the one that 
had so nearly made an example of me. The Caffre now came 
up with my rifle and saddle, the girth of which was broken. 
The rifle, having been open at the breech when it fell to the 
ground, was full of sand ; so that it was not until I had taken 
the lever out, using the point of the Caftre's assegai for a 
screw-driver, that I managed to get it to work. I then ap- 
proached the elephant, which all the time had been standing 
where I first saw her, and, cautiously advancing to within 
fifty yards of her, took a careful aim, and gave her a shot 
behind the shoulder, which brought her to the ground with a 
crash. Pushing in another cartridge, I ran up, and gave her 
a shot in the back of the head to make sure of her." 

Hunters do not always escape so fortunately as did Mr. 
Selous. One of the native hunters employed by him, named 
Quabeet, followed a bull elephant into the bush, and was 
never seen alive again. The brute must have laid in wait 
for him, and rushed out, taking him unawares. The bushes 
around the locality were levelled to the ground ; and, when 
finally the body was discovered, it was torn in three pieces. 


' The, chest, with head and arms attached, which had been 
wrenched from the trunk just below the breast-bone, lying in 
one place ; one leg and thigh, that had been torn off at the 
pelvis, in another ; and the remainder in a third. The right 
arm had been broken in two places, and the hand crushed ; 
one of the thighs was also broken ; but otherwise the frag- 
ment had not been trampled on. There is little reason to 
doubt," continues Selous, "that the infuriated elephant must 
have pressed the unfortunate man down with his foot or 
knee, and then, twisting his trunk round his body, wrenched 
him asunder. This feat gives one an idea of the awful 
strength of these huge beasts, and how powerless the strong- 
est of men." 

Sometimes the elephant is attacked with javelins, or spears, 
and so killed. Dr. Livingstone thus describes an instance 
that he witnessed : — 

" I had retired from the noise, to take observations among 
some rocks of laminated grit, when I beheld an elephant 
and her calf at the end of a valley, about two miles distant. 
The calf was rolling in the mud, and the dam was fanning 
herself with her great ears. As I looked at them through 
my glass, I saw a long string of my own men approaching 
on the other side of them. I then went higher up the side 
of the valley, in order to have a distinct view of their mode 
of hunting. The goodly beast, totally unconscious of the 
approach of an enemy, stood for some time suckling her 
young one, which seemed about two years old: then they 
went into a pit containing mud, and smeared themselves all 
over with it ; the little one frisking about his dam, flapping 
his ears, and tossing his trunk incessantly in elephantine 
fashion. She kept flapping her ears, and wagging her tail, as 


if in the height of enjoyment. Then began the piping of 
her enemies, which was performed by blowing into a tube, 
or the hands closed together, as boys do into a key. They 
called out, to attract the animal's attention, — 

' O chief, chief ! we have come to kill you : 
O chief, chief ! many others will die beside you; 
The gods have said it,' etc. 

Both animals expanded their ears, and listened, then left their 
bath. As the crowd rushed towards them, the little one ran 
forward to the end of the valley, but, seeing the men, returned 
to his dam. She placed herself on the dangerous side of her 
calf, and passed her proboscis over it again and again, as if 
to assure it of safety. She frequently looked back to the 
men, who kept up an incessant shouting, singing, and piping ; 
then looked at her young one, and ran after it, sometimes 
side wise, as if her feelings were divided between anxiety 
to protect her offspring, and desire to revenge the temerity 
of her persecutors. The men kept about a hundred yards 
in her rear, and some that distance from her flanks, and 
continued thus until she was obliged to cross a rivulet. 

" The time spent in descending and getting up the opposite 
bank allowed of their coming up to the edge and discharging 
their spears at about sixty feet distance. After the first dis- 
charge, she appeared with her sides red with blood, and, begin- 
ning to flee for her own life, seemed to think no more of her 
young. I had previously sent off Sekweba with orders to 
spare the calf. He ran very fast, but neither young nor old 
ever enter into a gallop : their quickest pace is only a sharp 
walk. Before Sekweba could reach them, the calf had taken 
refuge in the water, and was killed. The pace of the dam 


gradually became slower : she turned with a shriek of rage, 
and made a furious charge back among the men. They van- 
ished at right and left angles from her course ; and, as she ran 
right on, she went through the whole party, but came near no 
one, except a man who wore a piece of cloth on his shoulders. 
She charged three or four times, and, except in the first in- 
stance, never went farther than one hundred yards. She 
often stood, after she had crossed a rivulet, and faced the 
men, though she received fresh spears. It was by this 
process of spearing, and loss of blood, that she was killed; 
for at last, making a short struggle, she staggered round, 
and sank down dead, in a kneeling position." 

While this method is certainly a fair one, — the natives ex- 
posing themselves, and meeting the elephant in the open field, 
— it seems a murderous operation to torture such a noble 
animal, especially when she is defending her young. 

Among the narrow escapes of elephant-hunters in Africa 
may be mentioned Mr. Oswold. He was fleeing from an 
elephant, near the shores of the Zonga, when his horse stum- 
bled, and he fell in a thicket, face to the huge brute who was 
coming like an avalanche — a veritable mountain of flesh. 
He gave himself up as lost ; but, by a miracle, the animal 
passed within a few inches, missing him in its blind rage. 

Elephants are remarkable for their scent, and hunters 
always try to keep to the leeward. Charles Volk, a Dutch- 
man, while hunting, concealed himself in the brush, hoping 
to take an elephant unawares. But he was in the wrong 
direction: the great game scented him, and a moment later 
was upon the unfortunate hunter, and had crushed him into 
a shapeless mass. On another occasion, a party came upon 
two large elephants in an open spot. They immediately made 


for cover, the hunters wounding a female as she ran. Hoping 
to cut off her retreat, they put spurs to their horses, and were 
well upon her, when the male, a large tusker, charged upon 
them from a thicket. Some of the men had dismounted to 
fire ; and, though taken by surprise, they succeeded in reach- 
ing their horses, with the exception of a young man, who was 
standing with his arm through the bridle, and loading his gun. 
The infuriated animal caught him before he could move, 
drove both his tusks through his body, and tossed him dead 
and bleeding a great height into the air ; then, returning to 
its mate, both animals made off. 

Karol Kreiger's name is often mentioned by the Dutch 
African colonists as a bold hunter, who killed many elephants 
in his day, and was extremely fortunate in avoiding their 
rushes. He finally met his death while engaged in the sport 
of his choice. He was following a wounded elephant, when 
the latter suddenly whirled about as if on a pivot, took him 
in its trunk, and tossed him like a ball into the air, and, when 
he fell, trampled him underfoot in a frenzy of rage. When 
the body was recovered, it was completely torn in jneces. 

While Europeans are remarkably courageous in facing a 
charging elephant, they are exceeded in daring by the Ham- 
ran Arabs, who, without any of the appliances of a modern 
sportsman, face the largest and most ferocious elephants 
with a simple sword and shield. The Hamran Arabs are 
skilled horsemen, and are distinguished from their country- 
men of other tribes by the length of their hair, which is worn 
in long curls, and parted in the centre. Their sole method 
of defence and attack is the sword and shield. The latter 
is of two kinds : one is circular in shape, either of rhino- 
ceros or giraffe hide, stiffened by a stout piece of wood that 


passes down the centre. The shield is about two feet in 
diameter, and resembles, according to Baker, a broad hat 
with a low crown terminating in a point. In the crown, 
there is a bar of leather used as a grip ; while the outside 
is protected by a piece of scaly crocodile-hide. The swords, 
which are manufactured at Sollingen, are all of one pattern, 
being longer or shorter according to the strength of the 
owner. The blade is long and straight and two-edged ; the 
guard being a simple bar, or cross, a fashion presumably 
adopted after the Crusades. Some of the wealthy Arabs 
decorate the handles with silver ; and a good sword is highly 
prized, and handed down from generation to generation. 
Metal scabbards are not used ; the case being two thin strips 
of an elastic, soft wood covered with leather, all of which is 
to preserve the edge ; for this double-edged weapon is so deli- 
cate and keen, that it will cut a hair, and could be used as 
a razor. On the march, the sword is looked after with the 
greatest care, and is slung from the pommel of the saddle, 
passing beneath the thigh. When the Arab dismounts, he 
invariably draws it, and, after examining both edges, strops 
it upon his shield, and, having shaved a hair from his arm, 
returns it to the scabbard. 

The swords are about three feet five inches in length ; and 
about nine inches of the blade is bound with cord, which is 
grasped with the right hand, the left seizing the handle, so 
that it becomes a two-handed weapon. Thus armed, four 
aggageers, as the professional elephant-hunters are called, are 
ready to attack the largest elephant. Their method is, if 
they have no horses, to follow the great game on foot, and 
endeavor, between the hours of ten a.m. and twelve m., to find 
one sleeping. If this can be accomplished, they steal upon it, 


and with one blow of the terrible sword sever the trunk, pro- 
ducing a wound from which the elephant will die in an hour. 
A well-equipped party, however, consists of four aggageers 
on horseback. When the trail of a herd is struck, they dash 
in pursuit ; and when the animals are discovered, endeavor 
to single out the largest tusker, generally an old bull. Gal- 
loping after the fleeing elephant, they soon gain on it, and 
endeavor to make it turn and charge, — a matter of little 
difficulty. The men now have each a duty to perform. One 
places himself immediately in front of the animal, and tries 
to attract its attention, as does the matador in the bull-fight. 
This is a most dangerous position ; as, if the horse stumbles 
before the desperate charges of the enraged animal, both 
horse and rider will be crushed to death. But, while the 
nimble aggageer in front is tantalizing the great beast, 
the others are watching their opportunity. Galloping up 
behind the fleeing animal until within a foot or so of its 
heels, one springs to the ground lightly, sword in hand, 
though at full speed, and, racing along on foot for a few sec- 
onds, strikes the elephant a terrific blow, severing the back 
sinew of the foot, so that the first pressure after the stroke 
dislocates the joint. As the hunter leaps to the ground, 
his companion seizes his horse, and, as soon as the blow is 
made, he remounts : two or three ride near the unfortunate 
elephant's trunk, to give the third aggageer an opportunity 
to sever the sinew of the other hind-foot, which is soon 
done ; and the huge animal, thus helpless, is literally killed 
by two blows of a sword. 

The force of the blow given in this way can be imagined 
when it is known that a native has been seen to sever the 
spine of a wild boar at a single stroke. The aggageers often 


meet with terrible accidents. One employed by Sir S. W. 
Baker had his leg almost severed by his own sword. Another 
Arab, Rocler Sherrif, had had his horse killed from under him 
by an elephant, whose tusk at the same time entered his 
arm, rendering it useless for life. Yet this maimed man was 
considered the finest hunter, and always chose the most 
dangerous post, running ahead of the elephant's trunk to 
attract its attention ; and it was in doing this that he had 
met with the terrible wounds. 

The wonderful daring of these hunters, of whom Sir S. W. 
Baker said that he felt like taking off his hat to, is well shown 
in the following account given by that well-known hunter 
and explorer : — 

" Having the wind fair, we advanced quickly for about 
half the distance, at which time we were within a hundred 
and fifty yards of the elephant, which had just arrived at 
the water, and had commenced drinking. We now crept 
cautiously towards him. The sand-bank had decreased to 
a height of about two feet, and afforded very little shelter. 
Not a tree nor bush grew upon the surface of the barren 
sand, which was so deep that we sank nearly to the ankles 
at every footstep. Still we crept forward, as the elephant 
alternately drank, and then spouted the water in a shower 
over his colossal form ; but, just as we had arrived within 
about fifty yards, he happened to turn his head in our 
direction, and immediately perceived us. He cocked his 
enormous ears, gave a short trumpet, and for an instant 
he wavered in his determination whether to attack or fly; 
but, as I rushed towards him with a shout, he turned towards 
the jungle, and I immediately fired a steady shot at the 
shoulder with the 'Baby.' As usual, the fearful recoil of 


the rifle, with a half-pound shell and twelve drachms of 
powder, nearly threw me backwards ; but I saw the mark 
upon the elephant's shoulder in an excellent line, although 
rather high. The only effect of the shot was to send him off 
at great speed towards the jungle. But at the same moment 
the three aggageers came galloping across the sand, like grey- 
hounds in a course, and, judiciously keeping parallel with 
the jungle, they cut off his retreat ; and, turning towards the 
elephant, they confronted him, sword in hand. At once the 
furious beast charged straight at the enemy. But now came 
the very gallant but foolish part of the hunt. Instead of 
leading the elephant by the flight of one man and horse, 
according to their usual method, all the aggageers at the 
moment sprang from their saddles ; and upon foot, in the 
heavy sand, they attacked the elephant with their swords. 

" In the way of sport, I never saw any thing so magnifi- 
cent, or so absurdly dangerous. No gladiatorial exhibition 
in the Roman arena could have surpassed this fight. The 
elephant was mad with rage ; and, nevertheless, he seemed to 
know that the object of the hunters was to get behind him. 
This he avoided with great dexterity, turning, as it were, 
upon a pivot with extreme quickness, and charging headlong, 
first at one, and then at another, of his assailants, while he 
blew clouds of sand in the air with his trunk, and screamed 
with fury. Nimble as monkeys, nevertheless the aggageers 
could not get behind him. In the folly of excitement, they 
had forsaken their horses, which had escaped from the spot. 
The depth of the loose sand was in favor of the elephant, 
and was so much against the men, that they avoided his 
charges with extreme difficulty. It was only by the deter- 
mined pluck of all three, that they alternately saved each 


other ; as two invariably dashed in at the flanks when the 
elephant charged the third, upon which the wary animal im- 
mediately relinquished the chase, and turned round upon his 
pursuers. During this time, I had been laboring through the 
heavy sand ; and, shortly after I arrived at the fight, the ele- 
phant charged directly through the aggageers, receiving a 
shoulder-shot from one of my Reilly No. 10 rifles, and, at 
the same time, a slash from the sword of Abou Do, who, with 
great dexterity and speed, had closed in behind him, just in 
time to save the leg. Unfortunately, he could not deliver 
the cut in the right place, as the elephant, with increased 
speed, completely distanced the aggageers : he charged across 
the deep sand, and reached the jungle. We were shortly 
upon his tracks ; and, after running about a quarter of a 
mile, he fell dead in a dry water-course. His tusks, like the 
generality of Abyssinian elephants, were exceedingly short, 
but of good thickness." 

The tactics employed in shooting Asiatic elephants are not 
always successful when applied to the African species ; and 
the forehead-shot, referred to in the chapter on hunting the 
Asiatic elephant, is rarely made. The only forehead-shot 
that Sir S. W. Baker ever made was on the Settite River; 
the ball entering the base of the trunk, and lodging in the 
vertebrae of the neck, — a chance shot. At fifty feet, the 
temple-shot is often made ; but the old hunters generally 
aim at the shoulder, or just behind it. 

The flesh of the elephant is greatly esteemed by some 
native Africans, especially the fat ; while the feet, when well 
cooked, are considered delicacies by some European hunters. 

When the Bechuanas obtain a dead elephant, they not 
only enter the body, and literally mine for the fat, — hacking 


it out, and passing it to their comrades, — but besmear them- 
selves with the blood from head to foot, considering that it 
will bring them good luck. 

The native Africans have never been known to tame or 
utilize the elephant : though, in what is known as the fly 
country, they are the only animals perfectly free from attack, 
and would be of the greatest value, and a great saving of 
life , as it is estimated that every tusk that comes out from 
the interior of Africa, causes the death of at least one slave 
or native. 

That the African elephant was hunted in very early times, 
is very evident. On an Egyptian tomb at Qournah, of the 
time of Thothmes III., there is a representation of the ele- 
phant, telling the story of the tribute brought by the people 
of the upper Euphrates to that prince in 1500 B.C. The 
celebrated black obelisk (now in the collection of the British 
Museum) of Shalmaneser II. (858-823 B.C.) bears a deline- 
ation of an elephant which formed part of a tribute brought 
by the Muzri, a people of Kurdistan at the head waters of 
the Tigris, to the Assyrian monarch. The human figures on 
the stone are shown bearing elephants' tusks upon their 

These inscriptions and figures, while they may be consid- 
ered a part of the adornment of obelisks and tombs, are, in 
reality, the historical records of the time ; and the represen- 
tations of the elephant are often of value in showing its 
geographical distribution in former times. Thus, according 
to the stele of Amenemheb, an officer of the time of Thoth- 
mes III. and Amenophis II., translated by M. Chabas, the 
elephant was hunted near Nineveh, in the reign of Thothmes 
III. ; and that there were found in great numbers, is shown 


by the statement, that the king " captured one hundred and 
twenty elephants for the sake of their tusks in the country 
of Nineveh." Later than this, according to an Assyrian in- 
scription on the prism of Tiglath-pileser I. (1120 B.C.), now 
in London, the elephant was hunted on the Tigris. The 
account translated reads, "I killed ten full-grown elephants 
in the country of liar ran ; and on the banks of the Khabour 
[an affluent of the Tigris], I captured four elephants alive. 
I brought their skins and their tusks, with the living ele- 
phants, to my city of Alassar" [Asshur]. 




THE adult elephant attracts attention because of its great 
size and massive proportions ; but the baby elephant is 
sure of the undisguised admiration of the young folk, for an 
exactly opposite reason ; and perhaps no animal excites quite 
so much interest among all classes. 

At least two Asiatic elephants claim America as their 
birthplace. The first one was born in Philadelphia in 1880, 
where, with its mother, it attracted great attention, people 
going from far and near to visit it. The second baby ele- 
phant was born in Bridgeport in 1882, its mother being Mr. 
Barnum's Asiatic elephant Hebe. This infant proboscidian 
was named after the city of its birth, and has probably been 
watched, fed, and petted by hundreds of thousands of chil- 
dren in the United States. 

It is rare that elephants disj)lay any great affection for 
their young. Sir Emerson Tennent quotes Knox as saying 
that " the she's are alike tender of any one's young ones, as 
of their own." Mr. Sanderson, in charge of the government 
elephants in India, contradicts this, and states that "much 
exclusiveness is shown by elephants in the detailed arrange- 
ments amongst themselves in a herd ; and if the mothers and 
young ones be closely watched, it will be seen that the latter 


are very rarely allowed familiarities by other females, nor, 
indeed, do they seek them. I have seen," he says, "many 
cases in the Kheddahs where young elephants, after losing 
their mothers by death or other causes, have been refused 
assistance by the other females, and have been buffetted as 
outcasts. I have only known one instance of a very gentle, 
motherly elephant, in captivity, allowing a motherless calf 
to nurse along with her young one." 

The baby Bridgeport weighed at birth two hundred and 
forty-five pounds, and commenced nursing an hour and forty 
minutes later, — not with its trunk, as was supposed in the 
days of Buffon, but with its mouth, like all other mammals. 
The young elephants are nourished upon milk until they are 
six months old, when they eat a small quantity of tender 
grass ; but for several months they depend principally upon 
milk. A single elephant is usually born at a time, though 
occasionally twins are seen among wild elephants. Some- 
times three small elephants are observed about the mother ; 
but they are generally of different ages, or are twins and a 
brother or sister two years and a half older. 

The new baby Bridgeport, when I first saw it, was one 
of the most interesting creatures possible to imagine. Its 
diminutive stature, just about the size of the adult pygmies, 
described in Chap. IV. ; its short trunk and tail ; its pinkish 
skin, and small, solemn eyes, made it the most grotesque and 
comical little fellow in the world. Like all young animals, 
it was quite playful, and its attempts at frisking about were 
very amusing. It would seize its mother's tail or her trunk, 
or dart between her colossal legs in a veritable game of hide 
and seek, while she looked on with evident pride, displaying 
not the slightest alarm when the keeper lifted the baby in a 



THE NEW '•; 



variety of positions so that Mr. James C. Beard could sketch 
it. This is a peculiarity that few mothers in the lower ani- 
mal kingdom have ; and even the partly wild elephants 
seem to have perfect faith in man, trusting their young 
with them, and not resenting any familiarity that does not 
harm them. 

Among many animals, especially sea-lions, the mortality 
of the young, resulting from carelessness or clumsiness on 
the part of the parent, is very great ; but it is very rarely, if 
ever, that a baby elephant is killed or injured. This is true 
in the great herds when they are stampeded by various ene- 
mies. When on the march, the mothers and young go in 
advance ; but when the note of alarm is sounded, they imme- 
diately fall back, the tuskers, or males, going to the front ; 
and an observer at this time would be astonished at the sud- 
den disappearance of the young. At the first alarm, they run 
to their mother, and place themselves beneath her, shuffling 
along in this way; yet so careful are these- enormous parents, 
that even in travelling at a rapid rate, and crowded by one 
another, the babies are never harmed. To this great care on 
the part of elephants is, undoubtedly, due the safety of men 
who handle these animals ; the great brutes being instinc- 
tively careful of all smaller attendants. 

In wild Asiatic elephants, the greatest number of births are 
during September, October, and November. When a baby 
elephant is added to the herd, they remain about the mother 
for two or three days, to give the little one an opportunity 
to gain strength. The greatest care is given the youngsters 
by the mothers. They are assisted over rough places, pushed 
up hills, and are never an encumbrance to the movements of 
the body. 


Perhaps the most amusing sight is witnessed when a herd 
with young have to swim deep streams. When the mothers 
are once off bottom, very little of their great bodies shows 
above the surface ; and they often swim or walk with only the 
tip of the trunk showing. If the infant is very young, or 
there is danger of its taking cold, the old one takes it in her 
trunk, and holds it above the water as she swims : others are 
supported at the surface. Older babies scramble upon the 
mother's back, and ride along with only the curious cushions 
of their feet in the water; while some sit astride the old one's 
back, holding on with their legs. 

The baby elephant does not lack courage. Sir Emerson 
Tennent states that once when a herd of elephants was cap- 
tured, two tiny elephants were entrapped with them, — one 
about ten months old, whose head was covered with brown 
curly hair, and the other a little older. They both kept 
with the herd, trotting in and out between the legs of their 
elders, being caressed by all. According to the same writer, 
when the mother of the youngest was singled out by the 
noosers, and was dragged along, the little one followed, 
showing great indignation at the proceedings, and prevented 
them from putting a second noose over the mother; running 
in between her and the natives, trying to seize the rope, and 
pushing and striking them with its diminutive trunk, until 
it became so annoying that it had to be captured and carried 
away by main force. Even then it resisted, shrieking loudly, 
stopping to look back at every step ; but finally it attached 
itself to a large female, and stood by her fore-legs, and 
moaned continually. After a while, however, it made its 
escape, and returned to its dam ; and, when recovered, both 
babies shrieked lustily, struck at the men with their trunks, 


and twisted their little bodies into many curious contor- 

Perhaps the most laughable part of this scene was, that the 
babies would eagerly seize any article of food that was thrown 
them, and still keep on screaming all the while they were 

These interesting infants were afterwards sent down to 
Colombo, to the house of Sir Emerson Tennent, and became 
great pets. " One, 1 ' he says, " attached himself especially to 
the coachman, who had a little shed erected for him near his 
own quarters at the stables. But his favorite resort was the 
kitchen, where he received a daily allowance of milk and 
plantains, and picked up several little delicacies besides. 
He was innocent and playful in the extreme ; and, when 
walking in the grounds, he would trot up to me, twine his 
little trunk around my arm, and coax me to take him to 
the fruit-trees. In the evening the grass-cutters, now and 
then, indulged him by permitting him to carry home a load 
of fodder for the horses, on which occasions he assumed an 
air of great gravity that was highly amusing, showing that 
he was deeply impressed with the importance and responsi- 
bility of the service intrusted to him. Being sometimes per- 
mitted to enter the dining-room, and helped to fruit at dessert, 
he at last learned his way to the sideboard ; and on more 
than one occasion, having stolen in during the absence of the 
servants, he made a clean sweep of the wineglasses and china, 
in his endeavors to reach a basket of oranges. For these and 
other pranks, we were at last obliged to put him away." 




THE readiness of the elephant to familiarize itself with 
various tricks has been recognized from very early 
times, and the list of accomplishments which these unwieldy 
creatures have acquired is a long and interesting one. To 
the circus of the present day, the elephant is invaluable. 
People tire of the old jokes of the clown, and of the time- 
worn bare-back riding , but the elephant possesses a peculiar 
fascination ; and, the more it is observed, the more there is to 
admire. This was, I think, particularly true of Jumbo, who, 
though he had no tricks to display, was a never-failing source 
of interest. I remember on one occasion, when afforded an 
opportunity of entering his stable alone, I stood for a long 
time noting the monotonous, pendulum-like movement of 
the enormous head and trunk as it swayed from side to side ; 
and so huge did he appear, and withal so wonderful, such a 
giant of flesh and bone, that I could have extended my visit 
a long time without becoming wearied with its monotony. 
I think this is true to a great extent with all elephants. 
They are so wonderful and stupendous, that they do not wear 
upon the public patience. 

The education of the elephant is quite an important mat- 
ter ; and in nearly all the large herds, like Barnum's, there 


are what might be called elephant schools, where the ele- 
phants are not only taught, but kept in practice. Kindness 
is a feature of this education ; but fear is the motive, after all, 
on the part of the elephant ; and were it not for the dread 
which the hook of the trainer inspires, there would be little 
discipline maintained. 

The trainer of the Barnum herd informed me that he had 
often seen elephants, especially young ones, practising their 
lessons out of school. On one occasion he looked through a 
crevice into the pen of the elephants who were fastened up 
for the night, and there was one trying to stand on its head. 
While he watched, it made the attempt several times, just as 
if he had been standing by, and finally succeeded. Some of 
my young readers may possibly think that this is a remark- 
able evidence of intelligence, but I am inclined to think that 
it was merely the result of the force of daily habit. 

As long ago as the time of Pliny, elephants were observed 
studying their lessons, if so we may term it. This ancient 
author tells us that an elephant, having been punished for his 
inaptitude in executing some feat which he was required to 
learn, was observed at night endeavoring to practise what he 
had vainly attempted during the day; and Plutarch confirms 
this by mentioning an elephant who practised his theatrical 
attitudes, alone, by moonlight. 

The elephants of to-day are trained to march like soldiers, 
to wheel and counter-march at command, to salute their 
superior by throwing up the trunk and whistling loudly, to 
build pyramids and climb upon eminences ; and one small 
elephant has been taught to walk upon a rope, — a very 
broad and flat one. Elephants upon the see-saw, upon a 
rolling ball, elephants upon their hind-legs, and dancing ele- 


phants, — all are familiar to the circus-goer; and to show to 
what perfection the art of animal-training has attained, quite 
recently two small Indian elephants, which were erroneously 
advertised as mammoths in New York, from the fact that 
tiny had some hair upon their heads and bodies, were edu- 
cated to do some comical tricks, one of which was to ride a 
tricycle, in which position they presented a most ludicrous 
appearance. (See Plate XVI.) 

Perhaps the most remarkable exhibition is that afforded 
by the little elephant, Tom Thumb, of the Barnum circus, 
the one who was in the accident which killed Jumbo. This 
elephant comes walking upon his hind-legs upon a mimic 
stage, with an alleged German, and both take seats at a 
table; the elephant being dressed in hat, coat, and trousers. 
The clown elephant now takes a bell in its trunk, and rings 
it ; a waiter coming in and taking the order, which is evi- 
dently for some intoxicant. When he returns with a bottle 
and two glasses, the elephant seizes the former while his 
companion is not looking, and drinks the contents. This 
act is repeated a number of times, the elephant ringing the 
bell and ordering another bottle before the German discovers 
the fraud. Then the elephant appears to be overcome with 
the wine, and, taking a fan in its trunk, uses it vigorously. 
In all its movements the curious animal acts exactly as if it 
understood all that was going on, and fully appreciated the 

It is not often that an elephant is employed as a witness 
in court, but such an instance occurred in Cleveland some 
time ago. The famous trick elephant Pickaninny had been 
exhibited there ; and, as some discussion had been raised as 
to its speed, a test was given, the trainer affirming that the 


elephant could travel three miles in thirty minutes. It 
accomplished a mile in eight minutes ; and the officers of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals very prop- 
erly interfered, and arrested the driver, charging him with 
having prodded the animal with an iron until the blood 

The next day the parties appeared in court, and the trainer 
subpcened his elephant in his defence. As the animal could 
not squeeze up the stairs to the police court, the latter was 
held in the corridor below. "When asked if he had been 
injured, Pickaninny moved his head negatively ; and when 
the inquiry was made if he was treated well, he bobbed his 
head up and down, and grunted his assent in a very decided 
manner. It is unnecessary to say that his trainer was not 
far off during this performance ; and as examination failed to 
show any wounds, the man was discharged, and the elephant 
complimented upon his success by being presented with 
loaves of bread, fruit, and other delicacies. 

The elephant has figured in the circus of England for at 
least two hundred and fifty years ; and in 1681 a fine speci- 
men was accidentally destroyed by fire in Dublin. The 
exhibition price had been so high that comparatively few 
persons had seen it ; and at the time of the fire, the poorer 
classes hunted for pieces of the flesh as relics, which shows 
what a novel spectacle an elephant must have been at this 

Among the first trained elephants exhibited in Europe, 
was a fine Asiatic animal, employed at the Adelphi Theatre, 
London. It took part in an Eastern play, and evoked much 
applause by marching in a procession, kneeling before the 
king, and saluting the true prince without apparent orders. 


One of the first elephants seen in London was kept in the 
Tower of London in the seventeenth century, and was a gift 
to Henry III. from Louis IX. of France. It was probably 
obtained from Africa when the French king invaded that 
country. The order relating to this elephant is still extant 
among the old archives, and reads thus : " We command you, 
that, of the farm of our city, ye cause, without delay, to be 
built at our Tower of London, one house of forty feet long, 
and twenty feet deep, for our elephant." 

It was evidently quite the custom among monarchs to send 
elephants to one another. Emmanuel of Portugal sent a fine 
one to Pope Leo X. ; and Cardan describes one that he saw 
in the sixteenth century, at the court of the Queen of Bohe- 
mia, the daughter of Charles the Fifth. As early as 802, 
Haroun-al-Raschid, caliph of the Saracens, sent one to 

The elephants of Germanicus were trained to perform 
many remarkable feats, as hurling javelins into the air with 
their trunks, and catching them. Pliny says that these ele- 
phants danced upon a rope, and their steps were so practised 
and certain, that four of them walked upon the rope, bearing 
a litter, which contained one of their companions who feigned 
to be sick. This would seem an exaggeration, but an ele- 
phant upon the tight-rope has been seen in this country ; and 
ancient writers agree with Pliny that the elephants exhibited 
at ancient Rome could not only walk upon the rope, but 
retreat backwards without falling off. This performance, 
wonderful as it appears, is credited by nearly all the old 
writers. Seneca describes an elephant, who, at the command 
of its keeper, would bow its head, kneel, and walk upon a 
rope. Of course, it is impossible for an elephant to walk 


upon a slack rope ; and those alluded to were probably of 
very large size, perhaps flat upon the sides, and stretched to 
the greatest tension, and placed near the ground. 

It is evident, however, that, in some cases, the rope was 
high above the spectators ; as one writer mentions an ele- 
phant exhibited in the presence of the Emperor Galba, which 
ascended to the roof of the circus, on a rope stretched in an 
incline, and came back in safety, bearing a man upon its 

This performance is extremely wonderful when we remem- 
ber the natural timidity of the animal, and the almost im- 
possibility of forcing it upon a structure that is in the 
least unstable or frail. When elephants are marched over 
a bridge, they exercise the greatest caution, often trying 
the boards before taking the step, and displaying much 

We have seen the elephant of to-day fire a gun, play upon 
the hand-organ, or ring a bell : and Arrian mentions seeing 
an elephant who played upon the cymbals, having one 
attached to each knee, and bearing the third in its proboscis ; 
thus beating a measure with great exactness, while other 
elephants danced about him. Busbec, ambassador from Ger- 
many to Constantinople in 1555, saw an elephant which he 
describes as an extremely graceful dancer and ball-player, 
throwing the ball, and catching it, as easily as could a man 
with his hands. 

It is a common thing for parrots to be taught to scream 
out the name of prominent people, and elephants have been 
trained to perform a somewhat similar trick. Thus, an ele- 
phant saluted Domitian when he passed ; and when the ele- 
phant presented by Emmanuel of Portugal saw Leo X., to 


whom he was sent as a gift, it fell upon its knees, and made 
a profound obeisance. 

By far the best-trained elephant which was ever exhibited 
in Loudon, was owned by the Duke of Devonshire, who ob- 
tained the animal in a curious manner. On being asked by 
a lady en route for India, what she should bring him, he re- 
plied jokingly, " Ah ! nothing less than an elephant." A few 
months later, he was astonished at receiving the animal, 
whose actions and intelligence were the admiration of the 

The elephant was kept in a large enclosure, and treated 
with every kindness and attention, and developed a remark- 
able intelligence, soon learning to assist in many ways the 
man who was employed to take care of it. At his request 
it would go to him, take a broom, and sweep the paths or 
grass wherever he indicated, using her trunk to perform the 
work, with as much ease as a man would his hands. When 
he was watering the garden, it would follow him around, 
carrying the water-pot ; always being rewarded for its faith- 
ful services with a carrot, or some other vegetable. The 
keeper soon found that the elephant was adroit at work 
of any kind. When given a bottle, it uncorked it itself, by 
pressing it against the ground with its foot, and holding it at 
an angle of forty-five degrees, carefully pulling the cork out 
with its trunk. When this feat was often tried for the en- 
tertainment of the duke's friends, a soda-water bottle was 
used, in which the cork projected a very little above the 
edge. When the bottle was uncorked, she would turn her 
trunk around, so as to reverse it, and drink the contents 
with much gusto, then handing the bottle to the attendant. 

Another trick it performed was equally applauded. This 


was to take off its blanket without the aid of its trunk. 
When the attendant rode it, he covered its back with a large 
cloth ; and, when he wished to dismount, it would kneel, 
then rise, and, at the word of command, begin to agitate the 
muscles of its loins in such a manner that the housing was 
soon wriggled off, upon which it would take and fold it with 
exactness, and then toss it upon the centre of its back. 

Such an animal naturally became a great favorite, and, at 
the time, was as famous as Jumbo. It displayed great affec- 
tion for its keeper ; and it is needless to say, that it was re- 
turned. The first keeper attended it for eight years ; and, 
when he left, it seemed to mourn, and showed a disposition 
to resent the advances of the new attendant, but was gradu- 
ally won over by kindness, and finally would cry lustily for 
him if he remained away what it considered too long a time. 
This famous elephant died of consumption in 1829, in the 
prime of life, being about twenty-one years of age. 




ALL animals have their favorites or friends, — it may be 
some attendant or some animal to which they have 
formed an attachment, — and the elephant is no exception to 
the rule. Most of the latter's friends are made in confine- 
ment ; but the wild animal has a number of little companions, 
which are of great value, at least, in adding to its comfort. 
These are birds ; and chief among them is a beautiful crane, 
which is often seen — and, indeed, numbers of them — perched 
upon the back of the great animal, and riding about, present- 
ing a strange and decided contrast to the dark-skinned pro- 
boscidian. The presence of these shy birds moving about 
on so curious a roost would seem a mystery ; but, should we 
watch them, we should see that they were performing a most 
friendly act. They walk over the great, wrinkled back, and 
with their sharp eyes spy out all the insects which infest the 
great pachyderm, picking them out, and so securing a dinner 
and serving their friend at the same time, who probably is 
often driven to desperation by the myriads of insect-torments 
which abound in the dark continent. Besides the cranes, 
there are several smaller birds which are equally friendly 
to the king of beasts, and often congregate upon its back in 
great numbers; running about without fear, clinging to the 


huge ears, now dangling by the tail, and performing a still 
more friendly act at times in warning their friend of danger 
by rising in a flock, and uttering shrill cries, which arouse 
the drowsy elephant to a sense of its danger. 

In confinement particularly, the elephant is famous for its 
friendships, attaching itself to certain persons or animals, 
showing its affection for them in various ways. One of the 
Barnum elephants formed a strong friendship for a large dog, 
which was fully reciprocated ; the dog sleeping with its great 
friend, and always remaining about its feet. If it strayed 
away at any time, the elephant would look after it, and on 
its return show its delight and pleasure in many ways. 

Elephants often become attached to children, and seem to 
display the greatest solicitude for them. They have been 
employed as nurses to extremely small children, performing 
the duties as care-taker with perfect satisfaction. 

Though, as a rule, elephants obey their keepers from fear, 
there are cases where a decided friendship exists; and even 
when furious with rage, an elephant will often obey its keep- 
er's voice. An affecting instance of this was seen in the case 
of the famous elephant Chuni, who was believed to have gone 
mad. The animal was taken out to be shot; and its keeper 
was obliged to order it to kneel, that the soldiers might shoot 
it. The man reluctantly gave the order; and the elephant 
obeyed the command, and fell, pierced by many bullets. 

A mad elephant in Germany, which had destroyed much 
property, yielded immediately to the voice of the man who 
owned it, or had been its friend and keeper. The works of 
the ancient writers abound in instances of attachment and 
friendship between the huge animals and human beings. 
iElian relates a story of an elephant who became passionately 


attached to a little girl who sold flowers in the streets of 
Antioch, and had occasionally given it a part of her store. 
Athenseus tells of one which became so fond of a little 
child, that it would eat only in its presence ; but I fear that 
this story will not stand the test. Strabo states that ele- 
phants were known to have pined away and died when de- 
prived of their keepers to whom they were attached. Lieut. 
Shipp gives, in his memoirs, a very minute account of an ele- 
phant, who, upon killing its keeper, was seized with what 
was considered a fit of remorse, which ultimately killed the 
animal. In other words, it died of " a broken heart," a term 
that is applied to-day to elephants in India who die of no 
apparent cause. 

In Purchas's collection of travels, there is an account of 
an elephant who mourned for its master, the King of Ava, 
who was slain in battle, for many days ; and, as the same is 
known to have occurred among dogs and cats at the present 
day, it is not at all improbable. 

That the elephant should become attached to its keeper, is 
not strange. It is perfectly familiar with all his movements, 
receives all its food from him, is caressed and petted ; and it 
is not surprising that at times the animals rebel when pro- 
vided with an utter stranger to replace the one in whom they 
have learned to trust. 




WE have seen how the elephant is trapped, glanced at 
it in confinement, and now come to the question of 
its actual value ; in other words, how it is utilized by man. 
The simplest answer to this would be, that the elephant is a 
patient and faithful servant, quick to oblige, and, though not 
the most valuable of all animals as a helpmate to man, it cer- 
tainly stands first in this respect in India. 

In the chapter on elephant intelligence, the traits of the 
great animal are dwelt upon ; and it is its quickness to obey 
orders, the celerity with which it seems to understand them, 
its great strength and docility, which make it so valuable. 
There is hardly any service in India, requiring heavy work, 
in which the elephant is not employed. All the native nobles 
keep large herds of them, and in early times the numbers 
employed for simple purposes of show were remarkable. 

The tuskers are valued the most ; as with their stout tusks 
they lift lumber, and do much heavy labor, the trunk being 
used less than is generally supposed. In lifting a heavy bur- 
den by a rope, the male elephant does not haul by its trunk, 
but places it over one tusk, and takes the end with its teeth, 
and thus has a purchase that the female, who relies upon her 
teeth alone, does not possess. Long tusks are not necessary : 


in fact, in confinement they are cut once a year at least, to 
prevent the animals from injuring' themselves. This opera- 
tion is performed by making the animal lie down in the 
water, and sawing the tnsk off; the rule being, according to 
Sanderson, to measure from the e} T es to the insertion of the 
tusk in the lip ; this length measured from the latter point 
along the tusk, will give the spot where it should be cut. In 
young animals, a little more should be allowed ; as the above 
measurement may approach to nearly the medullary pulp of 
the tusk. 

Before the introduction of the railway in India, the ele- 
phant was used entirely to transport troops. Both male and 
female are now employed as laborers. In hunting, the tusk- 
ers are chiefly selected, on account of their superior courage ; 
and in following the tiger in India, they are almost invariably 
of great value, especially in Bengal, where the places fre- 
quented by this animal are often covered by high grass. In 
these hunts, only elephants whose courage has been tested 
are used, the hunters riding in the howdah upon their backs. 

There is danger, however, in having an elephant which is 
too courageous. Such a one will, if not under perfect con- 
trol, become enraged at the very sight of a tiger, and charge 
it, often with lamentable results to the hunters in the how- 
dah, who are liable to be shaken out, and crushed to death. 
In 1876, at Dacca, an elephant acted in this way. A gentle- 
man had taken his courageous wife on a tiger-hunt, both 
being in the howdah on a female elephant. Suddenly a large 
tigress ran across an open place ; and the elephant, despite 
the commands of the mahout, charged immediately, under the 
influence of terror and excitement, or rage. The hunter 
fired, and rolled the tigress over in front of the elephant, who 


began to kick at the prostrate brute, who, in turn, grasped 
the hind-leg of the elephant, and scratched, bit, and pulled 
with such vehemence that the elephant was fairly pulled over 
upon it, fortunately killing the tigress instantly. 

When the elephant went down, the sportsman was thrown 
violently out, his rifle flying in another direction, and going 
off, fortunately without damage to any one. His wife man- 
aged to retain her place, and was safely helped out by her 
husband, both running to another elephant, and so escaping 
without harm. 

This calls to mind the method of an English major, also a 
reputed famous hunter of former days. It is said that he 
had killed twelve hundred elephants in his time. He made 
a wager that he could kill two of these animals at one shot, 
and won, by shooting a female so that it fell upon its calf 
and killed it. 

The elephant, as we have seen, is very solicitous of its 
trunk, and, when attacked by a tiger, holds it high in air ; and 
if by any accident this member is injured, the mahout some- 
times loses command. Mr. Williamson thus describes such 
an occurrence which happened to two officers of the Bengal 
army : — 

" They had been in the habit of killing tigers with only 
one elephant, on which being mounted, they one day roused 
a tiger of a very fierce disposition. The animal, after doing 
some mischief among the dogs, which baited him very cour- 
ageously, at length darted at the elephant's head, and, though 
foiled in the attempt to get upon it, nevertheless scratched 
her trunk severely. No sooner did she feel the tiger's claws 
penetrating her proboscis, than she turned round, and set off 
at full speed, roaring most vehemently. She seemed to have 


lost her senses, and to be bent on mischief; for whenever 
she saw a living object, she pursued it, totally heedless of the 
mahout's endeavors to guide or restrain her. She was at 
length, by fatigue and management, brought into a govern- 
able state ; but she was spoiled for tiger-hunting." 

The same author chronicles a narrow escape for both ele- 
phant and riders from a tiger : — 

" The tiger had satiated himself upon a bullock he had 
killed, and lay lurking in the grass, — which was as high as 
the backs of the elephants, and very thick, — not far from the 
remains of the bullock. He was extremely cunning, and 
crouched so close as to render it, for a long time, doubtful 
whether he was in the jungle, or not. The symptoms dis- 
played by the elephants, on approaching the place where he 
lay concealed, induced the party to persevere in their efforts 
to rouse him. One gentleman, particularly, urged his ma- 
hout to make his elephant beat the spot where the scent was 
strongest; which being done, in spite of the tremendous 
tones of the agitated animal, the tiger, finding himself com- 
pelled either to resist, or to submit to being trodden upon, 
sprang upon the elephant's quarter, and so far succeeded as 
to fix his claws in the pad ; his hind-legs were somewhat 
spread, and their claws were fixed into the fleshy membranes 
of the elephant's thigh. Actuated by the excess of fear, oc- 
casioned by so sudden and so painful an attack, the elephant 
dashed through the cover at a surprising rate ; the tiger hold- 
ing fast by its fore-paws, and supported by its hinder ones, 
unable, however, in consequence of the rapid and irregular 
motions of the elephant, either to raise himself any higher, 
or to quit the hold he had so firmly taken with his claws. 
The gentleman, who had much ado to keep his seat, was pre- 


eluded from firing at his grim companion, as well from his 
unprecedented situation, as from the great danger of wound- 
ing some of the numerous followers, who were exerting the 
utmost speed of their respective elephants to come up to his 
assistance. The constant desire felt b}' the elephant to get 
rid of his unwelcome rider, which produced a waving and 
irregular pace, gave the opportunity for those who were 
mounted on light and speedy animals to overtake the singu- 
lar fugitives. Another gentleman of the party, coming up 
close, was enabled to choose his position ; when, taking a safe 
aim, he shot the tiger, which fell to the ground, and required 
no further operations." 

An elephant has been known to fling a tiger twenty feet 
through the air, and well-trained animals will catch a leaping 
tiger upon its tusks. This, however, is rarely done, perhaps 
from lack of opportunity. Much preparation is required in 
training an elephant for tiger-hunting. A stuffed skin is 
generally thrown to them, and they are taught to kneel and 
crush it ; and, when thoroughly familiar with the appearance 
of the big cat through the dummy, they are taken into the 

In India the elephant has often been used as a public 
executioner. Shah-Jehan terrified the Portuguese at Hoogly 
some years ago by announcing, that, if they did not renounce 
the Christian faith, he would throw them beneath his ele- 
phants' feet. Knox, in his account of Ceylon, states that 
" the king makes use of them for executioners," and that the 
animals would run their tusks through the bodies of the vic- 
tims at the word of command. These elephant executioners 
were provided with sharp iron spikes with a socket with 
three edges, which at such times were fitted upon their 


tusks. This custom was kept up until the British conquered 
the island. 

Bishop Heber says, " I preached, administered the sacra- 
ment, and confirmed twenty-six young people, in the audience- 
hall of the late King of Kandy, which now serves as a church. 
Here, twelve years ago, this man, who was a dreadful tyrant, 
and lost his throne in consequence of a large party of his 
subjects applying to Gen. Brownrigge for protection, used, 
as we were told, to sit in state to see those whom he had 
condemned trodden to death and tortured by elephants 
trained for the purpose." 

In very early times the elephant formed an equally impor- 
tant factor in the hunt. Marco Polo has recorded the manner 
of the Grand Khan's proceeding to the sport : — 

"On account of the narrowness of the passes in some parts 
of the country where his Majesty follows the chase, he is 
borne upon two elephants only, or sometimes a single one, 
being more convenient than a greater number. But, under 
other circumstances, he makes use of four, upon the backs 
of which is placed a pavilion of wood, handsomely carved, 
the inside being lined with cloth of gold, and the outside 
covered with the skins of lions, — a mode of conveyance 
which is rendered necessary to him during his hunting excur- 
sions, in consequence of the gout, with which his Majesty is 
troubled. In the pavilion he always carries with him twelve 
of his best gerfalcons, with twelve officers, from amongst his 
favorites, to bear him company and amuse him. Those who 
are on horseback by his side give him notice of the approach 
of cranes, or other birds, upon which he raises the curtain of 
the pavilion, and, when he espies the game, gives direction 
for letting fly the gerfalcons, which seize the cranes, and 




overpower them after a long struggle. The view of this 
sport, as he lies upon his couch, affords extreme satisfaction 
to his Majesty." 

The Nawaub of Oude, Vizier Ally, or Asophul-Doulah, 
who was elevated to the throne through the British, was 
even more prodigal than the Grand Khan : — 

" He generally took the field in the month of March, 
accompanied by ten thousand cavalry and as many infantry, 
and from seven to eight hundred elephants. From forty to 
sixty thousand people followed the camp, with grain and 
merchandise. When the vizier set out from his palace at 
Lucknow, a line was formed Avith the prince in the centre, 
mounted on an elephant, with two attendant elephants, — 
one carrying his state howdah, the other his sporting howdah. 
A line of elephants was prolonged on each side the prince, 
and was flanked at each extremity by the cavalry. The 
immense cavalcade proceeded straight through the country, 
regardless of the mischief that was a necessary consequence ; 
the poor cultivators running after the vizier, crying aloud 
for mercy. When any game was started, a continual fire 
was kept up along the line ; and, if a herd of antelopes was 
discovered, the elephants halted, and the cavalry hemmed 
them in, that his Highness and his courtiers might leisurely 
destroy them. Proceeding in this manner by day, and halt- 
ing in the evening at appointed stations, where every luxury 
was prepared in sumptuous tents, the army at length ap- 
proached the Thibet Mountains, where tigers, panthers, 
leopards, and buffaloes were to be found. An encampment 
being formed, their sporting was continued for several weeks 
upon a grand and formidable scale ; and, mounted upon their 
elephants, the prince and his nobles scoured the country in 


pursuit of the ferocious beasts that destroyed the flocks and 
herds of the peasantry. The array of despotism was here 
of some service, for the numbers of carnivorous animals that 
were killed was generally in proportion to the magnitude of 
the force employed against them." 

The curious uses to which elephants have been put are 
endless. An English officer, who served in India, says, "I 
have myself seen the wife of a mahout [for the followers 
often take their families with them to camp] give a baby in 
charge of an elephant while she went on some business, and 
have been highly amused in observing the sagacity and care 
of the unwieldy nurse. The child, which, like most chil- 
dren, did not like to lie still in one position, would, as soon 
as left to itself, begin crawling about, in which exercise it 
would probably get among the legs of the animal, or entan- 
gled in the branches of the trees on which he was feeding ; 
when the elephant would, in the most tender manner, dis- 
engage his charge, either by lifting it out of the way with 
his trunk, or by removing the impediments to its free progress. 
If the child had crawled to such a distance as to verge upon 
the limits of his range [for the animal was chained by the 
leg to a peg driven into the ground], he would stretch out 
his trunk, and lift it back as gently as possible to the spot 
whence it had started." 

M. D'Obsonville observed two elephants engaged in break- 
ing down a wall at the command of the mahouts, who stood 
by, imploring, ordering, and coaxing by turns. The trunks 
of these animals were protected by leather shields. 

At Barrackpoor, there was an elephant in the early part of 
this century, noted for its intelligence in working without 
a mahout. Once loaded with parcels, it would enter the 


Ganges, swim across, and then unload itself. Another ele- 
phant, who was kept near the fort at Trarancore, was em- 
ployed to carry out the treasure-boxes of the rajah of 
Trarancore. It was totally unattended, and marched sol- 
emnly into the court-yard of the fort, bearing a box, repeating 
this until all the boxes were piled up in regular order. 

It was reported in the press soon after Lord Dufferin had 
been appointed viceroy to India, that he had been presented 
with an elephant paper-cutter, which if true, — and it is not 
by any means improbable, — would lie one of the singular uses 
to which an elephant was ever put, and perhaps the most 
expensive. As the story goes, the tusks of a tine young 
elephant were beautifully carved into the shape of the huge 
paper-cutters now so fashionable ; and the animal itself was 
taught to take an uncut pamphlet or book in its trunk, and 
cut the leaves. 

The greatest practical value of the elephant is seen in 
their work as laborers ; and in hauling lumber they are 
especially of great service, their great strength enabling 
them to haul logs from localities that are ordinarily inacces- 
sible. At Moulmien these huge laborers can often be seen 
at work in the lumber-yards, and observers say that their 
power is most advantageously employed where great exertion 
is required for a short distance in a limited space of time. 

In the above-mentioned yards they may be seen carrying 
huge timbers, sometimes two or three animals engaged at 
one, exercising the greatest care and exactitude in the work, 
and obeying the slightest sign of the mahout. In lifting a 
heavy burden, the plank is edged or helped on to the tusks 
with the trunk, which is then wound around to steady it, 
while all the strain comes upon the tusks. (See Plate XIII.) 


In hauling, a regular harness is employed, which consists 
of a leather collar that goes about the neck ; or sometimes a 
girth, a stout rope ninety feet in length that fits behind the 
shoulders. To either of these the draggiug-rope is attached ; 
and if it is strong, and the elephant has not been frightened 
by frequent breakings, occasioned by the carelessness of 
drivers, it will make the most extraordinary endeavors and 
exertions to draw heavy loads, often bending forward so that 
its forehead almost touches the ground. 

When light timber is to be hauled, a rope is fastened to 
the end of the log, and taken by the elephant between its 
teeth, and dragged along, the end elevated from the ground. 

Elephants are also harnessed to wagons just as horses. 
Travellers through Bridgeport some years ago were enter- 
tained by seeing one of Mr. Barnum's elephants harnessed 
to a plough, but it is very likely that the broad feet of the 
animal tramped down the earth about as fast as it was 
loosened up. 

At the elephant establishment at Dacca, two regular ele- 
phant carts are used, to which are harnessed these animals, 
and employed in removing the refuse about the stables. 

While the elephant can carry a very heavy burden, it is 
exceedingly susceptible to gall ; almost every elephant in use, 
where great care is not taken, having a sore back. The 
natives, not especially humane, are apt to purposely neglect 
the animal, and allow its back to become sore; as, if the 
elephant cannot be used, they are relieved from duty. Sharp 
elephant owners prevent this by putting the attendants on 
half pay for as many weeks or months as it takes the poor 
creatures to recover. Elephants can be used in countries 
where a carriage would be impossible, and can carry a greater 


load than can be packed on a large wagon ; hence they are 
highly valued in a rocky and rough country. In such a 
place, a different gear is used from that already described. 
It consists of a thick, soft-padded cloth that covers the entire 
back, hanging down half way to the ground. Upon this the 
saddle fits, consisting of two large pads or sacks, each about 
two and a half feet broad, and six feet in length, and filled 
with a mass of dried grass or cocoanut fibre, so that they are 
about a foot thick. They are connected by cross-pieces, so 
that they fit one each side of the animals' backbone, the 
skin of which is thus protected from galling. Upon these 
pads another large one is placed, and upon this the load is 
packed ; so that the weight rests upon the ribs on each side 
of the vertebras, as the weight of a rider on horseback. 

The weight that can be loaded on an elephant depends upon 
the size of the animal. An ordinary elephant can carry half 
a ton continuously on a level country, but in a hilly district 
seven hundred-weight is a good load. Female elephants have 
been known to carry a pile of rice-bags, weighing twenty- 
four hundred pounds, for a short distance ; but the regula- 
tion amount allowed by the Bengal commissariat is sixteen 
hundred and forty pounds, exclusive of attendants, harness, 
chains, etc., which is estimated at three hundred pounds extra. 

The magnificent howdahs, or saddles, used by some of the 
rajahs are extremely heavy. Thus, one of the silver state 
howdahs and trappings of his excellency the viceroy weighs a 
little over half a ton ; or, to be more exact, — 


Howdah 6 1 22 

Gold cloth 1 14 

Punkahs, etc 2 25 

Ropes and gear 1 5 15 


Elephants are often used, as we use saddle-horses, as steeds 
by European officers in India ; and a light, well-broken ele- 
phant has an easy motion quite agreeable. The Meerga 
caste, or breed, from their long limbs, are generally the fast- 
est ; while small calves are often employed, the rider sitting 
astride as in horseback-riding. A large saddle and stirrup 
is used ; and in rough country, the little fellows are a welcome 
addition to the travellers' party. 

Elephants are very sure-footed at their work, and, when 
going at full speed, rarely stumble ; if they do, they only go 
upon the knees. Like horses, they will run away at times ; 
and a bolting elephant is much more to be dreaded than a 
bucking horse. 

The Mysore officer in charge of elephants says, " I have 
felt, on the one or two occasions which I have been on a 
bolting elephant, as a man might feel if bestriding a runaway 
locomotive, and hooking the funnel with the crook of his 
walking-stick to hold it in. It is a very difficult thing," he 
says, " to cure a confirmed bolter, as the habit has its origin 
in fear; and the animal is always liable to be startled by 
unexpected sounds or sights, chiefly the former. It is a rare 
trick, however ; and I have only known two elephants subject 
to it. One was a fine baggage animal, but almost useless for 
jungle-work from this trick. I, however, cured him in the 
following way : I had a stout hoop of iron made with sharp 
spikes on the inside, to encircle one of his hind-legs. This 
was kept in its place round the leg by being suspended from 
the pad by a rope ; and it fitted the leg loosely, so as not to 
inconvenience the elephant except when required to do so. 
To the ring was attached a chain fifteen feet long, at the 
other end of which was a pickaxe's head. This grappling 


apparatus was slung to the pad by a small cord in a slip-knot, 
handy to the mahout. If the elephant began to run, one 
pull freed it ; and before the anchor had been dragged many 
yards, it caught in the roots or bushes, and brought the ele- 
phant up with such a twinge, that it soon began to think 
twice before making off." 

The howdah is an ornamental covered saddle ; though 
some resemble small houses, and cost their owners vast 
sums of money. They are used on state occasions, and in 
tiger-hunting. The motion is hard, and rather unpleasant to 
the novice. Another saddle is called a charjama. It is 
merely a broad board with cushions upon it, and footboards 
attached to each side. There is a rail upon each end ; and 
four persons sit upon it, two on each side, back to back, 
somewhat after the fashion of a jaunting car. 

Riding-elephants will travel at about four miles an hour, 
while some long-legged fellows will make five or more miles 
in this time. Wounded elephants, as we have seen, some- 
times make remarkable time. 

Concerning the motion of elephants, Bishop Heber says, — 

" At Barrackpoor, for the first time I mounted an elephant, 
the motion of which I thought far from disagreeable, though 
very different from that of a horse. As the animal moves 
both feet on the same side at once, the sensation is like that 
of being carried on a man's shoulders. A full-grown ele- 
phant carries two persons in the howdah, besides the mahout, 
who sits on his neck, and a servant on the crupper behind. 
The howdah itself, which Europeans use, is not unlike the 
body of a small gig, but without a head." 

Capt. Williamson says, — 

" The gait of an elephant is very peculiar, being similar to 


the artificial pace of ambling taught to some horses. It is far 
from displeasing in a horse, but causes such a motion, when 
mounted on an elephant, as rarely to be borne for any dis- 
tance. Indeed, I know nothing more uncomfortable and 
tedious, I may even say painful, than a long journey in a 
howdah. It occasions a lassitude not to be described. We 
must suppose that habit reconciles people to it ; as we see the 
natives travel, for perhaps twenty miles or more in a fore- 
noon, without any apparent uneasiness. The largest ele- 
phants are, in general, the most uncomfortable in this 

In mounting an elephant, the animal either kneels, or a 
ladder is used to climb upon its back ; while natives descend 
by means of a rope. Generally a mahout, or professional 
driver, is employed to guide the elephant. Mr. Crawford 
states, that in his time this was not always the practice in 
Ava. He says, — 

" After the elephant combats were over, the king prepared 
to take his departure. His elephant, one of the noblest ani- 
mals I have ever seen, having the trunk, head, and part of 
the neck, of a white flesh-color, and in other respects al- 
together perfect, was brought up close to the shed under 
which we were sitting ; and he mounted it with great agility, 
placed himself upon the neck of the animal, took the hook 
in his hand, and seemed to be perfectly at home in this em- 
ployment. We afterwards saw the heir-apparent, a child of 
thirteen years of age, guiding his elephant in the same way. 
This practice is, I believe, peculiar to the Burmans; for, in 
Western India at least, no person of condition ever con- 
descends to guide his own elephant. There is, at least, some 
manliness in the custom ; and I should not be surprised to 


find that the neck of the elephant would be found, on ex- 
perience, the most agreeable and easy seat to the rider." 

The Emperor Akbar, in the same manner, rode every kind 
of elephant, making them obedient to his command. 

Timour's elephant team is described by Sir John Mande- 
ville as presenting a remarkable appearance: "A chariot with 
four wheels, upon which is a fair chamber of sweet-smelling 
lignum aloes, which is within covered with plates of fine gold, 
dubbed with precious stones and great pearls, and drawn by 
four elephants." Jehanghir rode through the streets of his 
capital on an elephant, followed by " twenty royal elephants 
for his own ascending, so rich, that in precious stones and 
furniture they braved the sun." 

The famous tree-mound of Kublai Khan was built by the 
aid of elephants. " Not far from the palace," says an old 
writer, " on the northern side, and about a bow-shot distance 
from the surrounding wall, is an artificial mound of earth, 
the height of which is full an hundred paces, and the circuit 
at the base about a mile. It is clothed with the most beauti- 
ful evergreen-trees : for, whenever his majesty receives infor- 
mation of a handsome tree growing in any place, he causes 
it to be dug up ; however large and heavy it may be, he has 
it transported by elephants to this mount." 

When Timour built his great mosque at Samarcand, he 
emploj^ed ninety-five elephants to draw the stones. In the 
early days of ship-building in India, these huge animals were 
engaged to haul the vessels from the stocks ; and Verthema, 
who travelled in India in 1503, gives the following example 
of their power : — 

" I saw an instance of the extraordinary strength of these 
animals while at Cananore, where some Mahometans en* 


deavored to draw a ship on the land, stern foremost, upon 
three rollers ; on which occasion three elephants, commodi- 
ously applied, drew with great force, and, bending their 
heads down to the ground, brought the ship on the land." 

Another writer states that he saw a tree overthrown by an 
elephant, which twenty-three men had attempted in vain. 

In the war of Coromandel, in 1751, the gates of the fort 
of Ponomaley were attacked by elephants, Avhose heads had 
been covered with iron plates for the purpose. 

Among the curious uses to which elephants have been put, 
may be mentioned fishing. A hunter came to a pool in the 
valley of the Chengree, India, once, with about twenty-five 
elephants. The natives discovered that it was alive with 
fish ; but there were no boats. No one had a line ; and, even 
if they had, the water was too shallow near shore, and too 
deep in the centre. The sportsman solved the difficulty by 
mustering all the elephants without their gear : then provid- 
ing themselves with spears and baskets, the natives mounted 
the elephants, and commanded them to wade in. This they 
quickly did, rather enjoying the sport, and soon, by stirring 
up the mud, had the finny occupants of the pool flying about 
in all directions. Very soon the large fish began to come to 
the surface ; and the elephants began to chase them, guided 
by their mahouts, who struck them with their spears ; and, 
as soon as one was impaled, it was drawn upon the ele- 
phant, beheaded, and thrown into the basket. According 
to the hunter, who invented this curious method of fishing, 
the elephants exhibited remarkable sagacity in following the 
game, abstaining, at a hint from the mahout, from blowing 
under water, as they are apt to do, or splashing , indeed, 
acting exactly as if they knew that a noise of any kind 


would retard the progress of the sport. Sometimes several 
elephants would start after the same fish ; and, as the water 
was four or five feet deep, the scene would become intensely 
exciting, the men standing on the great animals, and literally- 
using them as boats. Occasionally a man would lose his 
balance, and tumble over, to rise, gasping, and half-strangled 
by the muddy water which soon dried, and gave them the 
appearance of having been white-washed. One elephant 
stepped into a deep hole, and nearly turned a somerset, 
tossing the men into the water ; and, all in all, it was a very 
laughable and amusing sight to witness, and withal success- 
ful, as seventy pounds of fish were caught from the fleet of 

Even after death, the elephant is of more or less value, 
exclusive of its ivory. In various countries certain portions, 
as the head and tongue, are esteemed as articles of food. 
The bones are used in Ceylon in enriching estates. The 
hair of the tail is utilized by native goldsmiths in bracelets, 
and teeth are well known as ivory. The feet are mounted 
as seats and footstools ; and the great ears of the African 
elephant are harnessed to oxen, and dragged about to convey 
merchandise of various kinds. Sir Samuel Baker says that 
he has often used the large, soft ear of the African elephant 
as a couch after the fatigues of the hunt. 

So valuable is the elephant in the East, that the inhabitants 
of the country wonder how Americans and others carry on 
the ordinary work of life without them ; and, when Abraham 
Lincoln was president, the King of Siam conceived the idea 
of relieving the American people by providing them with 
these animals, which were to be raised just as ostriches are 
now on the California coast. The facts concerning this offer 


are extremely interesting, and I am indebted to the corre- 
spondent of "The Philadelphia Times" for the following. 
The communication is now in the keeping of the United 
States Treasury : — 

" The letter is kept in a box of polished light-colored wood, 
about three inches deep, twelve inches long, and eight inches 
in width, gilded inside, and securely locked. The envelope 
for the letter is a bag of cloth of gold, long and narrow. 
The letter is written upon thick paper, the size of foolscap, 
with a broad gold border all around it. It is in Siamese ; 
and accompanying it, and tied to it with a silken cord, is 
what is stated at its head to be a 'true translation' of the 
letter of the King of Siam. At the top of the first page, in 
the upper left-hand corner, is a curious little seal, not larger 
than a quarter of a dollar. Its impression is in gilt, and the 
device one peculiar to Siam, and unlike any thing else in 
nature or art. 

" The letter begins with the names, title, and possessions of 
the King of Siam, whose personal letter it is supposed to be. 
Following this, on the same page, is the following address : — 

" ' To His Most Respected Excellent Presidency, — 

" ' The President of the United States of America, who, 
having been chosen by the citizens of the United States as 
most distinguished, was made president and chief magistrate 
in the affairs of the nation for an appointed time of office ; 
viz., Buchanan, Esq., who had forwarded an official letter to 
us from Washington, 10th May, Anno Christi 1859, which 
was Wednesday, tenth night of waxing moon ... in the 
year of Monkey, with a package of books, a hundred and 
ninety-two volumes in number, which came to hand in the 


year following. Or to whomsoever the people have elected 
anew as chief ruler in place of President Buchanan . . . 
[here some more complimentary titles and allusions are 
inserted] sendeth friendly greeting.' 

" The letter goes on to comment upon the difficulties of 
sending communications from Siam to the United States, and 
to explain the indirect course letters took : so the king con- 
gratulated himself on having found an excellent opportunity 
■ — a sailing vessel of the United-States navy, the ' John 
Adams,' in command of Capt. Berrien, having come into the 
'chief port of Siam, and its officers desiring to make a friendly 
visit to the king, and having been received by him — to for- 
ward his letter and some complimentary presents — a sword 
and a photographic likeness of himself — to the President of 
the United States. 

" The king mentioned, that, in reply to questions asked by 
him of Capt. Berrien, he had learned that there are no ele- 
phants on the continent of America ; and that so great a 
curiosity are they, that thousands of people will crowd to see 
even a large tusk of an elephant when exhibited in some 
public place, saying it was a wonderful thing : and he had 
learned that elephants are regarded by Americans as the 
most remarkable of all the large quadrupeds. He had also 
been informed that there were no camels on the continent of 
America: the Americans have sought for and purchased 
them, some from Europe, some from Arabia ; and that now 
camels propagate their race, and are serviceable and of benefit 
to the country, and are already numerous in America. From 
this, one might infer that Capt. Berrien imposed somewhat 
on the credulity of this graciously inclined monarch. 

" Having heard this about the camels, it occurred to the 


king, continued the letter, that ' if on the continent of 
America, there should be several pairs of young male and 
female elephants turned loose in forests, where there was 
abundance of water and grass, in any region called by the 
English the torrid zone, and all were forbidden to molest 
them, to attempt to raise them would be well ; and, if the 
climate should prove favorable to elephants, we are of opin- 
ion, that, after a while, they will increase till there be large 
herds, as there are on the continent of Asia, until the inhab- 
itants of America will be able to catch them and tame them, 
and use them as beasts of burden, because, on account of the 
great strength and size of the elephants, they could be made 
to carry very heavy loads, and would be of benefit to the 
country, since they can travel where carriage and other roads 
have not been made.' 

" The king, to illustrate how feasible it is to introduce 
elephants, and raise them successfully in countries where 
they had been unknown, cites examples from ancient times 
of the ' transplanting of elephants ' to places where there 
were none, instancing the island of Ceylon, to which they 
were first taken four hundred years ago, and have become 
very plentiful there. 

" He then proposed to give a number of young elephants 
of both sexes to our country if the United States will furnish 
a vessel for their transportation, supplied with food enough 
for them during the voyage. He further suggested that a 
steamer tow the ship on which they travel to America to 
hasten their arrival, so that the elephants would be received 
in good condition in their new home. He says very positively, 
that, as soon as they arrive in America, they must be turned 
loose in a jungle in the torrid zone. 


" The king desires ' the President of the United States, 
and Congress, who conjointly with him rule the country,' to 
let him know their views as soon as possible, as to his offer 
to furnish the elephants, and whether or not they are wanted. 
He sends with this letter a pair of the largest size of ele- 
phants' tusks, 'both from the same animal, to be deposited 
for public inspection in the United States, that thereby the 
glory and renown of Siam may be promoted.' 

" This letter, as stated at its close, was ' given at our royal 
audience hall, Anant Samagome, in the Grand Palace,' etc., 
at Bangkok, Siam, ' on Thursday, the fifth night of the wax- 
ing moon, in the lunar month from the commencement of 
the cold season in the year of Monkey, corresponding to the 
solar date of 14th February, Anno Christi 1861, which is the 
eleventh year, and this day is the 3,564th day of our reign. 1 

" It is scarcely necessary to say that this generous offer of 
the King of Siam to stock an elephant farm in America, was 
in due time declined, with thanks, by the authorities at 
Washington. By the time the letter was received, Abraham 
Lincoln was President, and Mr. Seward Secretary of State ; 
and it is said, that, when the latter asked Mr. Lincoln what 
should be done with the elephants if they came, Mr. Lincoln 
said he did not know, unless ' they were used to stamp out 
the rebellion.' 

" It is on the statute-books, however, that the Emperor of 
Morocco once presented a lion and two horses to the United 
States Consul at Tangier, to be sent to the government at 
Washington ; and that it was done, and the matter called to 
the attention of Congress, whereupon it was 

" k Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives in 
Congress assembled, That the President of the United States 


be, and he is hereby, authorized to cause the two horses re- 
ceived as a present by the Consul of the United States at 
Tangier, from the Emperor of Morocco, to be sold in Wash- 
ington City, by public auction, on the last Saturday in Feb- 
ruary, 1835, and to cause the proceeds thereof to be placed 
in the Treasury of the United States, and that the lion 
received in like manner, be presented to such suitable insti- 
tution, person or persons, as the President of the United 
States may designate. 

" 'Approved Feb. 13, 1835.' " 

IVORY. 211 



ONE of the most valuable, and certainly the most beauti- 
ful, of animal products is the substance we call ivory, 
which composes the upper incisor teeth of elephants. From 
the very earliest times, it has been esteemed by man, and 
has gradually grown more valuable as years have gone by, 
until now the demand is so great that the extermination of 
the noble animals that produce it is threatened, merely that 
we may have knife-handles, billiard-balls, piano-keys, and 
many articles of luxury. 

The trade in ivory is of great antiquity ; and doubtless, in 
very early times, there was a far greater demand for it than 
at present, and elephants were slaughtered in vast numbers. 
But after this, came a cessation ; and the great animals had 
an opportunity to increase. According to Herodotus, Africa 
yielded her tributes of elephant teeth to the kings of Persia. 
The people of Judsea built ivory palaces; and even the galleys 
of Tyre, according to Pliny, had benches of ivory. In the 
Odyssey, we read of the luxury of the early Greek princes, — 

"The spoils of elephants the roofs inlay." 

The Etruscan attributes of royalty were sceptres and 
thrones of ivory, and the ancient kings and magistrates of 
Rome sat upon ivory seats. 


It is said, that, in the time of Pliny, the supply of African 
ivory almost gave out, when, only two centuries earlier, it 
was so plentiful, that, according to Polybius, the finest tusks 
were used as door-posts on the confines of Ethiopia, and even 
for palisades about the fields. 

The decay of the ivory trade commenced with the fall of 
Rome: no longer were the commonest articles made of ivory, 
and even the Roman ivory tablets (libri elephantini) fell into 

This sudden change was not without its effect ; and, at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, elephant tusks were a 
drug in the market. According to Battell, the natives had 
their idols of wood in the midst of their towns, fashioned 
like a negro : and at the foot thereof was a great heap of 
elephants' teeth, containing three or four tons of them ; 
these were piled in the earth, and upon them were set the 
skulls of dead men, which they had slain in the wars, in 
monument of their victory." 

When the Portuguese first established themselves at An- 
gola and Congo, they found that the natives had accumu- 
lated vast stores of ivory, which was applied to the same 
superstitious uses. The Portuguese collected all they could, 
and shipped the tusks to Europe, reaping a rich harvest, and 
so depleting the supply, that in the middle of the seventeenth 
century it was almost exhausted again. In 1840 there were 
eleven manufactories of ivory goods in Dieppe, France ; and 
nearly every large city to-day has one or more such. The 
extreme tastes that in the time of Leo X. required ivory 
beds, are not gratified in the present day ; yet there is a 
constant demand for ivory. 

It is extremely difficult to obtain the facts regarding the 



rage iqq. 



IVORY. 219 

importations of ivory in former years. In eleven years, from 
1788 to 1798, 18,914 hundred-weight of ivory were imported 
into Great Britain, or about an annual importation of 192,- 
579 pounds. In 1827 about 118,000 pounds were imported. 

In the sixteenth century the English traded for ivory on 
the Guinea coast ; and a few years ago, even Cape Town was 
a headquarters for quantities of ivory ; but the restricted 
area of the elephant, results in the tusks being taken to the 
nearest shipping-places on the coast, nearer Central Africa. 

The natives were often grossly cheated. Mr. Burchell saw 
a party of twenty, — men, women, and children, — who had 
brought a thousand pounds of ivory to Cape Town, and only 
received the simplest articles for it. In the interior he met 
a Hottentot who had bought twenty fine tusks of the Ba- 
chapins, at a rate of a sheep for a tusk. These men offered 
Mr. Burchell two oxen and two tusks (each too heavy for a 
man to carry) for a gun. The native chiefs of to-day have 
a better appreciation of the value of ivory, and Europeans 
cannot hunt for elephants without making them valuable 

The present demand for ivory comes principally from Eng- 
land, America, and the European nations ; while many tusks, 
as the huge teeth are called, are sent to China. In 1885, 
which may be considered an average year, — though the 
importations differ, and there has been a depression, — 439 
tons of ivory were imported into England, for which several 
million dollars were paid. 

By the courtesy of F. Grote & Co. of New York, and 
Westendorp & Co., London, I am enabled to present a table 
of extreme interest, showing the imports of ivory into Great 
Britain for the last forty years. It tells an interesting story 



of the destruction of the elephant : it .is also interesting to 
note how the averages differ. The average number of tons 
for the years 1845-49 was 294 ; 1870-74, 627 tons ; and for 
1880-84, 514 tons ; the imports of 1885 showing a falling 
off of one hundred tons. The imports by the year are as 
follows : — 



























































































To produce this enormous amount of ivory, and that im- 
ported into other countries, not less than seventy-five thou- 
sand elephants a year are destroyed. It has been estimated 
that fifty-one thousand are killed annually on the western 
coast of Africa, and probably twenty-five thousand does not 
cover those slaughtered in other localities. Much of this 
ivory comes from Africa, about one-fourth being obtained in 
India. In 1875-77 the yearly product of the latter country 
was between nine thousand and seventeen thousand pounds ; 
a certain amount of this being cut from the tusks, not neces- 
sitating the death of the animal. 

All the tuskers which are taken by Sanderson and others, 
in Asia, have their tusks shortened or cut, the tips being val- 
uable ivory. The end is bound with a brass ring to prevent 

IVORY. 221 

the tusk from splitting : Jumbo's tusks were cut off in this 
way. As the tusk is continually growing, the pulp being 
converted into ivory, the trimming operation can be repeated 
at certain intervals, generally every eight or ten years. 

The finest ivory is that obtained from Equatorial Africa ; 
either the natives bringing it out, or, as we have seen in 
a former chapter, Europeans penetrating the little-known 
recesses of the Dark Continent to procure it. 

The west-coast ivory, when received, is generally almost 
black upon the outside, and presents any thing but an attrac- 
tive appearance. The tusks are received by the wholesale 
trade, as Westendorp & Co. of London, and Grote & Co. of 
New York, the leading ivory-firms, wrapped in raw hides, 
sewed up by raw-hide thongs. These outside wraps are 
called " Schroons " by the trade. The different ivories have 
various tints ; and an expert can tell at a glance where a tusk, 
or even a small piece of ivory, came from. The ivory which 
is shipped at Calcutta has a slight pink hue, and is very fine ; 
while that received from Egyptian ports is brittle and poor. 
A visit to the ivory-vaults of the Messrs. Grote & Co., New 
York, would well repay any one interested in the subject of 
the economic value of animals. Here all kinds of ivory may 
be seen, and the extent and variety of objects made from it 
are astonishing. Here we find numbers of rings of ivory 
which are awaiting shipment back to Bombay, where they 
will be sold as bangles or bracelets to Hindoo women. 
Numerous flat ivory slabs are sold to Sheffield, England; 
and, finally, we may see them returned in the shape of 

Some of the largest tusks in the Grote vaults are six in- 
ches in diameter at the base ; and the tusk at the door of 


this firm, on 14th Street, used as a business sign, is nearly 
nine feet in length. This house manufactures almost every 
article that ivory can be made into ; and objects ranging 
from billiard-balls to flat spatulas, for testing flour, may be 
seen in their cases. Billiard-balls require the choicest kind 
of ivory. The best are made here, and sell at five dollars 
each. I believe the Chinese have alone successfully produced 
the famous concentric balls of ivory, for which they have 
been so long and justly famous. Nothing is wasted in the 
ivory-shop. Even the dust is collected, and sold to the New- 
York florists, who claim that its results upon roses and other 
choice flowers are astonishing. It is also used in tempering 
certain steel tools, and in the manufacture of some acids. 

To respond to this great demand, many professional ivory- 
hunters are constantly in the field. In a single season a 
small party have obtained twenty thousand pounds of ivory ; 
for which they received twenty thousand dollars at Khar- 
toom, or one dollar per pound. The tusks of elephants differ 
much in size ; and, to show the loss in wear, Holub states 
that the wear on a pair of African tusks in the animal's life- 
time may equal six pounds, — the ivory being ground down 
when the animal uproots trees, and uses them in similar 

In the Abyssinian and Taba regions, tusks rarely exceed 
forty pounds, and average only about twenty-five. In Equa- 
torial Africa they average about forty pounds, and range up 
to one hundred and fifty. 

Gen. De Lima, returning from Mozambique, brought two 
straight tusks for a cross on the high altar of the cathedral 
at Goa. One weighed one hundred and eighty pounds, and 
the other one hundred and seventy. They had the slightest 

IVORY. 223 

possible curve. " The Friend," a paper published in Ceylon, 
states that the officers of the ships " Quorrah " and " Albur- 
hok," engaged in the Niger expedition, were shown two tusks 
by a native king which measured two feet and a half in 
circumference at the base, were eight feet in length, and 
weighed two hundred pounds each. According to Broderip, 
a tusk of three hundred and fifty pounds weight was sold at 
Amsterdam ; but he gives no authority. Tusks often take pe- 
culiar shapes. An elephant was seen, in 1844, in the district- 
of Bintenne, near Friars-hood Mountain, one of whose tusks 
took a complete turn, then resumed its original direction ; 
and in the museum of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 
there is a spiral tusk. The most remarkable freak of nature 
relating to tusks, that I am familiar with, is recorded by 
Thomas Baines, F. R. G. S., who was with Livingstone on the 
Zambesi. In various chapters, one, two, three, and four 
tusked elephants have been referred to ; but this giant had 
nine. Mr. Baines says that it was shot in 1856 ; and a Mr. 
Edwards, a partner of Chapman, with whom he travelled, 
bought six of the tusks. " It had on the right side five, and 
on the left four, all growing, as usual, out of the upper jaw. 
The pair occupying the usual place were of about thirty 
pounds weight each ; just behind them projected a pair 
somewhat larger, pointing downward and backward ; be- 
tween these were situated two others, and before and behind 
them in the right jaw were two more, but in the left only 
one, behind all these, being much smaller." 

The ivory is always sold by weight; and the buyers are 
often deceived, as the tusks are liable to contain cavities, or 
have the pulp loaded with metal by designing traders. The 
size of the tusk generally determines the price ; the larger it 


is, the more valuable, those below six or seven pounds being 
held at less than half the price per pound than those much 
larger. Many tusks are ruined through the ignorance of the 
natives. They are generally, however, transported with 
great care, the finest being wrapped in wax, or some similar 

Before considering the different kinds of ivory, and the 
various uses to which it is put, let us glance at its composi- 
tion. In structure, it is equivalent to dentine, the material 
of which nearly all teeth are composed, and has an organic 
base or matrix, which upon examination is seen to be perme- 
ated by a vast number of very small and delicate canals, each 
of about one-fifteenth of an inch in diameter, which seem to 
commence at the pulp-cavity, presumably the axis, and ex- 
tend outward to the periphery of the tusk. The little canals 
are not packed closely together, but are separated by spaces 
of about their own diameter. To these tubes, the regularity 
of their disposition and their delicacy, the ivory owes its 
fineness of grain, and its remarkable elasticity. By examin- 
ing them, an expert can distinguish elephant ivory from any 
other; as they have a peculiarity of making a series of 
decided bends in their course, from the axis to the periph- 
ery, which produces a graining in the ivory, unique and 

Ivory is often confused with bone, but is a very different 
substance. It is much finer in general structure, much more 
elastic, and is without the canals that convey blood-vessels 
through the bones. If a section of a tusk is made some dis- 
tance from the growing pulp, the centre, or core, will be found 
to be darker than the rest, and of a different nature. This 
is the remains of the pulp. The outer portion of the tusk 

IVORY. 225 

is still different, or composed of a compact layer of cementum 
that covers or encloses the entire tusk. The intermediate 
substance is ivory, which shows many circular lines about 
the central dark spot, calling to mind the growth-marks seen 
in sections of trees, and due to the fact that in all ivory there 
are great numbers of very minute spaces known as "inter- 
globular spaces." The localities occupied by these spaces 
are characterized by a smaller proportion of lime-salts and a 
greater proportion of organic matter than other portions. 
Hence this part of the ivory is not so dense as the rest, and 
is more liable to decomposition : so, in many of the fossil 
tusks that are found, a sectional view often shows it sepa- 
rated into six or seven distinct rings, the intermediate organic 
matter having disappeared. It is supposed, that, in living 
ivory, these interglobular spaces are filled with some organic 
substance. According to Von Bibra, ivory contains from 
forty to forty-three per cent of organic matter ; while human 
dentine contains from twenty-four to thirty-four per cent. 

From its delicate structure, ivory takes a rich polish ; and 
it is also susceptible of being dyed. The ease with which it 
is carved, makes it one of the most valuable of all materials 
for artistic carving. 

The ivory used in England and America is mostly from 
the African elephant ; but in Russia much of it comes from the 
tusks of mammoths, described in chapter fourth. These ele- 
phantine monsters existed in great numbers in former days ; 
and in some localities, their tusks are found in great abun- 
dance. When the first explorers examined the New Siberian 
Islands, they found mammoth tusks projecting from the sand 
in many places ; and in others the tundra seemed to be fairly 
made up of them. 


The best localities are at the mouth of the Lena and other 
Arctic rivers and the Liakhoff and New Siberian Islands. 

The mammoth tusks are much more curved than those of 
existing elephants, and much heavier, weighing as much as 
three hundred and twenty pounds a pair. Some are pre- 
served as perfectly as if the animal had but recently died, 
while many more are ruined by the weather ; but to-day, 
even after years of collecting, the supply may be said to not 
only equal the demand, but to be practically inexhaustible. 

As a rule, the mammoth ivory is too dry and brittle for 
fine work, and is said to turn yellow. Fine tusks bring large 
prices. One recently offered to the Oxford Museum was 
valued at five hundred dollars ; and about ten years ago, over 
one thousand were sent to London for sale, weighing from 
one hundred and forty to one hundred and sixty pounds 
each. The best of these found a ready market; but, as a 
rule, mammoth ivory is not esteemed. 

Westendorp has investigated this ivory, and finds that 
about fourteen per cent is good ; seventeen per cent could be 
used in some way ; fifty-four was bad ; and fifteen per cent 
utterly useless. He considered about Is. Qd. per pound a fair 

The life of the ivory-hunter of the North is equally as 
dangerous as that of the South, as the tusks, as a rule, are 
found only in the most desolate places ; yet there is an ele- 
ment of excitement about it far greater than that which is 
experienced in shooting the African elephant. It is true that 
the great mammoth is dead ; but yet the possibility of find- 
ing the carcass of one of these monsters in the flesh, and 
clothed with hair, has been sufficient incentive to keep many 
hunters in the field. 

IVORY. 227 

In the chapter on the mammoth, some of the most remark- 
able discoveries have been referred to. The ivory-hunters 
have for years found vast quantities of tusks at the New- 
Siberian Islands, which lie to the north and east of the Lena 

The first mammoth tusk was brought to England by Josias 
Logan in 1611, and was obtained in the region of the Petchora. 
It is estimated that about one hundred pairs are yearly offered 
for sale ; and, according to Nordenskiold, the tusks of at least 
twenty thousand mammoths have been collected since Siberia 
was first investigated. 

The frozen bodies of the mammoth were originally called 
mummies ; and the first one that is mentioned is in a sketch 
of the journey of the Russian ambassador, Evert Yssbrants 
Ides, who, in 1692, journeyed through Siberia to China. A 
professional ivory-hunter travelled with him, and described 
the parts of a specimen which he found ; and, to show how 
perfectly it was preserved, the neck was still colored by blood. 

This same collector found a pair of tusks which weighed 
two hundred kilograms. He informed Ides that the heathen 
Yakuts, Tunguses, and Ostyaks believed that the mammoth 
lived underground, just as did the Chinese ; and that it died 
only when it came to the surface, and saw or smelled air. 

An interesting account of the folk-lore of the natives, 
relating to this point, will be found in J. B. Muller's work 
referred to in the bibliography. 

In 1839 a complete mammoth was uncovered by a land- 
slide on the shores of a lake near the Yenisej River. 

Nordenskiold says, " Under the guidance of natives, I col- 
lected, in 1876, at the confluence of the river Mesenkin with 
the Yenisej, in 71° 28' north latitude, some fragments of 


bones, and pieces of the hide, of a mammoth. The hide was 
twenty to twenty-five millimetres thick, and nearly tanned 
by age, which ought not to appear wonderful, when we con- 
sider, that, though the mammoth lived in one of the latest 
periods of the history of our globe, hundreds of thousands, 
perhaps millions, of years have, however, passed since the 
animal died, to which these pieces of skin once belonged. It 
was clear that they had been washed by the neighboring river 
Mesenkin out of the tundra-bank ; but I endeavored, without 
success, to discover the original locality, which was probably 
already concealed by river-mud. In the neighborhood was 
found a very fine cranium of the musk-ox." 

African-elephant ivory, which is esteemed above all others, 
on account of its close grain, and less tendency to turn 
yellow when exposed, is semi-transparent when first cut, and 
in this condition is called "green" by the ivory-workers. As 
it dries, it becomes lighter, and more opaque, owing to the 
drying out of the water. During this process, the ivory 
shrinks more or less, as wood does ; and in making box- 
covers, billiard-balls, and in all delicate work, great care is 
required, the ivory being generally roughly shaped, and 
placed in a warm room to gradually shrink and dry true. 
The plates used on piano-keys are dried and shrunk at once 
by being baked in an oven. 

The greatest skill of the worker is, perhaps, shown in the 
original cutting, as here much waste can be made by igno- 
rance or carelessness. Often the cutter finds cavities in the 
ivory, and not uncommonly bullets, and parts of various 
weapons. These have been shot into the tender pith at the 
base of the tusk, and, in time, become incorporated in the 

IVORY. 229 

A specimen of a tusk in the Odontological Society, Lon- 
don, shows a spear-head embedded in the ivory, completely 
enclosed by it and secondary dentine, though measuring 
seven and a half by ten inches. In another instance, the 
tusk was formed into a cup, while the embedded spear-head 
was left exposed as a stand. A javelin firmly embedded in 
ivory is exhibited in the collection of the College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, London.. 

Ivory is easily worked ; and veneers have been cut, accord- 
ing to Tomes, by a reciprocating saw making a spiral shaving 
around the tusk forty feet in length, and twelve inches in 

As ivory grows old, it turns yellow, especially if kept in 
the dark. It is said that the ancients possessed the secret 
of softening it. If this is so, it is one of the lost arts, as it 
cannot be done to-day ; though it is rendered more flexible 
by submitting it to the solvent action of phosphoric acid. 

The uses to which ivory is put are innumerable. For- 
merly it was used in the manufacture of false teeth, and 
it is used to some extent to-day by native dentists in 
India. The dust and chips of ivory are all used, and 
are either boiled down into a gelatine, or calcined into 

The confectioners are said to use ivory-dust as a basis for 
groups, and it is often utilized when a delicate size is re- 
quired. The calcined ivory affords a fine black pigment 
called ivory-black, and is also used as fine printing-ink, 
and in printing etchings and engravings. 

All the objects manufactured at Dieppe to-day can, per- 
haps, trace back many of their methods to Demosthenes, the 
father of the orator, who was a worker in ivory. He had an 


extensive manufactory of cabinet-ware, and used great quan- 
tities of ivory. He had another manufactory, where ivory 
knife-handles were made, and was also a wholesale dealer in 
the commodity. 

We are indebted to Messrs. F. Grote & Co. for the follow- 
ing interesting item, which was received too late for insertion 
in the proper place : — 

" The tusk which stands at our door, in 14th Street, New 
York, was brought from Zanzibar, Africa, being from the 
species Elephas Africanus. Its length, on the outside curve, 
is eight feet and eleven inches ; its length on the inside 
curve is eight feet and one half inch ; its diameter at base 
is six and one half inches; its weight is one hundred and 
eighty-four pounds." 

This is a notable example, and one which has long excited 
public interest. 

We are also indebted to Messrs. Totans & Schmidt, of 
Fulton Street, New- York City, for the dimensions of a pair 
of tusks of an African elephant, which have long graced 
their show-window. They measure respectively, eight feet 
and six inches, and eight feet four inches, in length. The 
larger weighs one hundred and thirty-five pounds, and its 
circumference is twenty inches and three quarters at base. 




THE elephant has figured prominently in the arts from 
the earliest times. The first artist in ivory was un- 
doubtedly contemporaneous with the mammoth ; as upon a 
piece of mammoth's tusk, taken from a cave in France, there 
is a rude but quite correct representation of one of these 
huge animals : and the figure of the elephant seems to have 
been a favorite with the sculptors of all times. On the island 
of Elephanta, there are the remains of an ancient statue of an 
elephant. A fine cutting of an Indian species with young 
was found upon the walls of Pompeii ; and the animal is 
often seen on the bass-reliefs along the Nile (Plate XXII). 

It is upon medals, however, that the elephant figured most 
prominently, these now valued relics having been struck off 
in honor of the ancient kings and queens to commemorate 
their deeds of valor. An interesting medal (Plate XXI., Fig. 
1) was struck in honor of Tranquillina, the wife of Gordian ; 
the Romans at this time, in a spirit of poetical exaggeration, 
choosing the elephant as a symbol of eternity. The legend 
" iEternitas Aug." is expressive of a wish that the emperor 
shall live as long as an elephant, which was then believed to 
be three or four hundred years. 

The sagacity of the elephant is often referred to in the 


ancient mythology of the Hindoos ; and Ganessa, the god of 
wisdom, is represented in the temples of India with a human 
body and an elephant's head : curiously enough, several 
ancient medals show the head of Socrates united with that 
of an elephant in connection with two other heads. Plate 
XXI., Fig. 2, is explained by Chifletius as referring to the 
trial of Socrates; and the two heads are supposed to be 
those of Anytus and Melitus, his accusers. This, however, 
has been questioned. A Neapolitan medal (Plate XXL, 
Fig. 3), supposed to be antique, represents an elephant 
standing before the tripod of Apollo, upon which the sacri- 
ficial fire is burning. Medals are in existence in Europe, 
showing the pretended religion of the elephant. Such a one 
was struck by Cardinal Zabrella (Plate XXI., Fig. 4), and 
shows one of these animals worshipping the moon. 

In the " Museum Cuspinianum," edited by Laurentius, 
there is figured a medal (Plate XXII., Fig. 5) which is sup- 
posed to represent Alexander after his conquest in Persia, 
entering through the gate of a city, or a triumphal arch, in 
a chariot drawn by four elephants. On the other side of the 
medal, the head of Alexander is shown, with Neptune on 
one side of his helmet. Some experts consider this medal 
as spurious. 

Alexander figures on many medals, and a very fine one 
(Plate XXL, Fig. 6) represents his head covered with an 
elephant's skin. On the reverse is Minerva, armed with a 
helmet, shield, and spear ; and before her an eagle holding 
lightning in his talons. Berger supposes it to refer to the 
defeat of the elephants of Porus. 

Quite similar in general appearance to this is a medal 
(Plate XXL, Fig. 7) supposed to represent Ptolemy Phila- 


delphus. The head of an elephant, or the skin of the head, 
is used as a head-covering, the tusks extending over the head 
as in a Roman medallion of Africa (Plate XXII., Fig. 9). 

The last record of the elephant in Syria is found upon a 
coin (Plate XXL, Fig. 8) struck in honor of Antiochus, who 
was raised to the throne in the two hundred and twenty-fifth 
year of the era of the Seleucidse, 87 B.C. The elephant is 
represented as bearing a torch, according to the custom of 
the Syrian monarchs, with the horn of plenty behind him. 
Julius Caesar had many medals struck off in his honor. One 
(Plate XXII., Fig. 10) represents his head, the reverse being a 
triumphal chariot drawn by four elephants, and is supposed 
by experts to relate to the conquest of Juba and the Mauri 
in Africa. Another medal, which was struck by the Em- 
peror Trajan (Plate XXI., Fig. 11), in honor of Julius 
Caesar, represents an elephant trampling upon a serpent, 
probably relating to the same event. 

The Emperor Augustus was voted by the senate a tri- 
umphal arch, a chariot drawn by two elephants, and a statue, 
for the great deeds he accomplished ; all of which is recorded 
on a medal (Plate XXI., Fig. 12). After the death of Augus- 
tus, his statue was conveyed on a chariot by four elephants 
to the circus, after which the games commenced, this post- 
funereal honor being also commemorated by a medal. Calig- 
ula was also thus honored by the senate ; and a medal (Plate 
XXL, Fig. 13) pictures him sitting upon the chariot, as a 
god surrounded by stars. Nero and his mother, Agrippina, 
are represented (Plate XXL, Fig. 14) in a somewhat similar 

The inventive genius of Severus in suggesting new pleas- 
ures was commemorated in a medal (Plate XXL, Fig. 15) 


which represents numerous animals, including the elephant, 
about a ship which, loaded with ferocious animals, he sailed 
on a small lake for the diversion of his favorites. 

One of the finest elephant medals extant represents the 
statue of Pertinax drawn by four elephants in a triumphal 
chariot after his death (Plate XXII., Fig. 16) ; and these are 
but a few that are to be found in collections in various parts 
of the world, but show that the elephant took an important 
part in all the deeds of the great men of the time. 

The ivory of elephants has been employed in artistic work 
since very early times. The British Museum has specimens 
of ivory plaques of rich design taken from Nineveh, which 
are supposed to date from 900 B.C. The execution in some 
is very fine ; many figures being in high, and some in low, re- 
lief, but all showing that the worker was an expert in the art. 

"Traces of gilding," says Tomes, "remain on many of 
them ; and they were often, furthermore, enriched by being 
inlaid with fragments of lapis lazuli, or of a colored glass in 
apparent imitation of this : the edges of the larger heads 
were generally rendered conspicuous by this means. In one 
of the panels, the border of the dresses, the thrones on which 
the figures were seated, the ornaments above the cartouche, 
and the cymbals upon the cartouche itself, were thus inlaid 
with color. The largest object is a carved staff, perhaps a 
sceptre. Amongst the smaller pieces are heads of animals, 
and entire animals, griffins, human heads, crossed and clasped 
hands, rings, etc. Like the ivory-carvers of a later period, 
these early workers seem to have studied the economy of 
their material. Thus, a beautiful carving in high relief of 
two griffins, standing upon papyrus flowers, has been worked 
in the interior segment of a large tusk, the natural curvature 


of which it follows." Besides these discovered at Nineveh, 
some other ivories of great antiquity exist ; and ivory-work- 
ers are mentioned as a distinct class of artificers at the com- 
mencement of the Christian era. Many writing-tablets of 
ivory, with raised rims inside, where wax was spread over 
their surfaces, have come down to us. These were often 
made to fold together, and the exterior richly ornamented 
with carvings. It was the custom for newly appointed 
consuls under the empire to send these plaques to persons 
of importance, and the covers sometimes have portrayed 
upon them the consul in his robes of office. 

These ancient relics are invaluable. In the South Kensing- 
ton Museum, there is exhibited a beautiful ivory plaque of 
the third century, for which two thousand dollars were paid. 
It forms one-half of a diptych, and measures eleven and 
three-quarters by four and three-quarters inches. The other 
half is in the Hotel Cluny. 

Many of the ancient carvings deal with sacred subjects. 
One of the most beautiful is a Pieta, representing the Virgin 
holding the dead Christ in her lap, and dates from the four- 
teenth century. Schliemann, in his excavations on the sup- 
posed site of Troy, has found many ivory objects, as pins, 
buckles, etc. 

The most profligate and, it must be confessed, magnificent 
use of ivory is seen in the attempts of the early Greeks to 
add to the splendors of their national religion. During the 
time of Pericles, 445 B.C., there was a demand for fine statues 
of the gods ; and it was reserved for Phidias, the most 
famous of all the ancient sculptors, to invent the ivory 
statue, — not the diminutive creations with which we are 
familiar, but colossal figures formed of an aggregation of 


small pieces. The Greeks had figures of wood and stone ; 
but finally the public taste seemed to demand something 
more refined, and the combination of gold and ivory was the 
result. (See Plate XVII.) 

The use of ivory in art-work had preceded this many 
years. From the time of the Trojan war, they had used 
ivory arms and furniture ; and two hundred years later we 
hear of Solomon introducing it in Judeea. "Once in three 
years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold and silver, 
ivory, and apes and peacocks; " and being thus supplied with 
the elephants' teeth of India, " the king made a great throne 
of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold." One hundred 
years after Solomon, the sacred historian speaks of "the 
ivory house of King Ahab " as so wonderful, that it is 
enumerated in Chronicles with all the cities that he built. 
" The ivory house of Ahab," and " the ivory palaces " of the 
forty-fifth psalm, no doubt referred to buildings profusely 
ornamented with ivory. 

Phidias, then, must have been familiar with ivory-work, 
having such illustrious examples in history; but none of his 
predecessors had attempted the stupendous works which 
rendered him famous. Unfortunately the creations of this 
celebrated artist were all destroyed, and we have only the 
descriptions left. 

When Greece fell, her oppressors, the Turks, a race of 
barbarians, destroyed all the grand works in marble they 
could find. For two or three hundred years, they pounded 
up the beautiful statues of the Parthenon to obtain lime to 
make their miserable hovels ; and it is probably to them that 
is due the destruction of the works of chryselephantine 
(gold and ivory) statuary that were so celebrated, that 


almost every ancient writer described them. One was so 
richly ornamented with gold, that Pericles mentions it as 
one of the resources for carrying on the Peloponnesian war. 
The gold was stolen, and carried off by Leochares during the 
siege of Athens by Demetrius. 

The masterpiece of Phidias was the Jupiter of Olympia. 
"The god," says Pausanias, "made of gold and ivory, is 
seated upon a throne. On his head is a crown, representing 
an olive-branch. In his right hand he carries a Victory, also 
of gold and ivory, holding a wreath, and having a crown 
upon her head. In the left hand of the god is a sceptre, 
shining with all sorts of metals. The bird placed upon the 
summit of the sceptre is an eagle. The sandals of the god 
are of gold, and his mantle is also golden. The figures of 
various animals, and of all sorts of flowers, particularly 
lilies, are painted upon it. The throne is a diversified assem- 
blage of gold, of precious stones, of ivory, and of ebony, in 
which figures of all kinds are also painted or sculptured." 

Curiously enough, this writer does not give the dimen- 
sions of the work, an omission that is supplied by Strabo. 
" Phidias," he says, " had made his Jupiter sitting, and 
touching almost the summit of the roof of the temple: so 
that it appeared, that, if the god had risen up, he would have 
lifted off the roof. The interior of the temple is said to 
have been sixty feet high, and the statue was about forty- 
eight feet in height." Equalling if not rivalling Phidias in 
the estimation of some, was Polycletus, who produced the 
Juno of Argos. His works were not on so grand a scale as 
his contemporary Phidias, but excelled them in beauty and 
execution. Pausanias thus describes his masterpiece : " The 
statue of Juno is seated on a throne. Her size is extraordi- 


nary. She is of gold and ivory. On her head is a crown, 
whereon are worked the figures of the Hours and Graces. 
In one hand she holds the sceptre, in the other the fruit of 
the pomegranate.*' Maximus Tyrius says, "Polycletus en- 
abled the Argives to contemplate the queen of the gods in 
all her majesty. She is seated upon a throne of gold, where 
we admire the whiteness of her breast and arms of ivory." 

The Minerva of the Parthenon, a gold and ivory statue, 
was a marvellous piece of work, and one of the earliest pro- 
ductions of Phidias. There is no known description of it, 
though frequent allusions to it are found in the works of 
ancient writers. From Plato, we learn that the gold on the 
statue predominated over the ivory. "Phidias," he says, 
" made neither the eyes, nor the face, nor the feet, nor the 
hands, of his Minerva of gold, but of ivory;'* and Plutarch 
records the fact that Phidias arranged to meet his critics, by 
so disposing the gold about the statue that it could be taken 
off and weighed, if his honesty was doubted. 

After the death of Alexander, statues of himself and fam- 
ily, in gold and ivory, were placed in the Philippeum of 
Olympia. The funeral monument of Hephaestion was orna- 
mented with statues of ivory and gold. 

The successors of Alexander made lavish use of ivory. 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, at the time of his triumph in Egypt, 
was followed by six hundred elephants' tusks borne by 
slaves ; and, according to Quatremere de Quincy, some of 
the many statues drawn upon the cars in his triumphal 
march were of gold and ivory. 

To show the abundance of ivory at this time, Ptolemy 
used it to build a portico in his favorite ship, described by 


(Made of Ivory and Gold, by Phidias.) 

Pages 2 1 7 and Sj6. 





According to Dion Cassius, Caesar caused a statue of him- 
self* to be executed in ivory ; and Passiteles, a contemporary 
of Pompey, executed an ivory statue of Jupiter for the tem- 
ple built by Metellus. The doors of the Palatium, which 
Augustus raised after the victory of Actium, were of ivory. 
A similar statue was decreed to Germanicus by the senate, 
and the Emperor Titus had an equestrian statue executed in 
honor of Britannicus. 

Colossal statues of ivory continued in favor under the 
Romans, and Phidias had many followers : thus Adrian had 
completed the temple of Jupiter at Athens ; he erected in it 
a large statue of gold and ivory. 

These grand works fell into disuse when Christianity was 
established under Constantine, and probably many of these 
works of art were destroyed at this time. All that remain 
of the vast numbers of ivory statues is a figure about eight 
inches in height, and the works referred to on previous pages. 

At the present day, ivory sculpture is confined to small 
figures of various kinds, the most extensive work being done 
by the Chinese and Japanese artists : the latter delight in the 
grotesque productions of their art. 

According to the Davenport Academy of Sciences, to 
which I am indebted for permission to use the accompanying 
engravings, the mastodon figured in the arts of the mound- 
builders. The pipes shown in Plate XVIII. presumably 
represent a proboscidian; and many notable archaeologists 
believe that the pipe-makers were familiar with the mas- 
todon, and perpetuated its form in the pipes. According to 
Mr. Charles E. Putnam, president of the Academy, one of 
the pipes was found, in 1880, in a mound on the farm of Mr. 
P. Hass, in Louisa County, Io., the discoverer being the 


Rev. A. Blumer, a Lutheran clergyman, who presented the 
pipe to the Academy. The other pipe was obtained by 
Rev. J. Goss from a farmer in the same county, who found 
it while planting corn on his farm some time previous. The 
famous big elephant mound in Grant County, Wis., is 
supposed to represent an elephant in profile, the huge, pillar- 
like legs and the trunk being plainly seen ; though it might 
well have been intended to represent any other animal of 
like shape. 




AS the elephant was used in the early days to add to the 
pomp and glory of the Roman conquerors, it is not sur- 
prising that they were also employed in the games and sports 
of the people. It was the custom in the days of old Rome, 
to match men against the most ferocious animals ; and, long 
before the elephant was known in Italy, brave men met the 
lion, single-handed, in the arena. When the elephant was in- 
troduced, it was evident that the amphitheatre had new pos- 
sibilities; and forthwith the huge animals became a feature 
of the barbaric pastimes of the period. It is needless to say 
that a people given to such diversions, which involved the 
torture of thousands of living creatures, were grossly debased 

Milton has thus described the times and men under 
Tiberius : — 

" That people, victor once, now vile and base, 
Deservedly made vassal; who, once just, 
Frugal, and mild, and temp'rate, conquered well ; 
But governed ill the nations under yoke, 
Peeling their provinces, exhausted all 
By lust and rapine ; first ambitious grown 
Of triumph, that insulting vanity ; 


Then cruel, by their sports to blood inured 
01 fighting beasts, and men to beasts exposed; 
Luxurious by their wealth, and greedier still, 
And from the daily scene effeminate." 

For four hundred years Rome was given over to displays, 
in which the most brutal passions were aroused, and of 
which the Spanish bull-fight is the sole modern representa- 
tive. The great circus where these exhibitions took place 
was the Colosseum, in which five thousand wild beasts were 
slaughtered at its dedication by Vespasian ; and its skeleton- 
walls still stand to-day, a monument to the skill and mis- 
directed talent of the people of that time. 

The Roman circus was thoroughly a government institu- 
tion, and a part of the political machinery of the time in 
this way, that the exhibitions of strange wild beasts was 
devised by the victorious Roman rulers to show to their con- 
stituents and countrymen the wonders of the foreign coun- 
tries they had conquered. 

According to Pliny, Mutius Scsevola (102 B.C.) first ex- 
hibited a combat of lions at the circus, and C. Scipio Trasica 
and C. Lentulus were the originators of contests between 
men and wild beasts. 

In these terrific struggles, lions and tigers were let loose 
in the arena, and fought with human slaves and convicts. 

When Pompey dedicated his theatre, he gave the most 
remarkable exhibition on record. Five hundred lions and 
eighteen hundred elephants are said to have been pitted 
against a body of armed men. The huge animals were at- 
tacked in every possible way, — sometimes by swords, again 
by lances. In the second consulate of Pompey (54 B.C.), a 
herd was matched against a company of Getulian archers ; 


and, according to Pliny, one of the elephants, enraged by 
its wounds, rushed upon an archer, and hurled his shield 
high in air. Another, wounded by a javelin, created a panic 
among the rest ; the great animals rushing against the railing 
of the circus with such force, that it gave way, and numbers 
of the spectators were wounded. 

As a rule, the elephants were defeated ; and the historian 
Dion adds a description of a wonder no less honorable to 
the Roman people than to the sagacity of the elephants. 
" The spectators," he says, " so compassionated the animals, 
when they saw them raising their trunks to heaven, roaring 
most piteously, as if imploring the gods to avenge the cruel 
treachery which had compelled them to come from their na- 
tive forests, that they demanded that they should be saved." 
Pliny, relating the same story, states that the populace were 
so touched by the terror which the elephants exhibited, and 
so full of admiration at their sagacity, that regardless of the 
presence of Pompey, and forgetful of his munificence, they 
rose from their seats, and demanded, with imprecations 
against the consul, that the combat should be at an end. 
But habit appears soon to have reconciled the people to the 
torturing cruelties of the amphitheatre, — 

" Where murder breathed her bloody steam ; " 

and we have few other recorded instances of their clemency. 
The elephant tournaments of CaBsar added greatly to his 
popularity as dictator. " When Caesar, the conqueror of the 
world," says Velleius Paterculus, " returned to the city, he 
forgave all who had borne arms against him [which passes 
all human belief], and exhibited ship-fights, and contests of 
horse and foot, together with elephants." " On this occasion 


the spectators were well secured by ditches, which surrounded 
the arena, from the charges of the infuriated beasts, who had 
annoyed them considerably at the games of Pompey. In 
these sports of the great dictator, twenty elephants were 
opposed to five hundred men on foot." 

Entertainments of this kind naturally tended to debase 
and brutalize the people, and the demand for slaughter was 
ever on the increase. It is said that Claudius rose at day- 
light to go to the circus, that he might not miss a single pang 
of the victims, human or brute. During his reign, and that 
of Nero, a famous sport was to match an elephant against a 
single fencer, who sometimes attacked the great beast on 
horseback, and again on foot. 

The Colosseum was the natural outcome of the passion for 
such barbarous sports. The old one did not afford room 
enough, and Vespasian commenced the new one, which was 
completed by Titus (A.D. 79) ; and it still stands, as a 
monument of a dark era in the history of Rome. 

While these exhibitions would seem only a remnant of the 
most barbarous ages, they have been permitted, even at the 
present day. In certain parts of India, elephants are now 
baited to afford entertainment to certain native princes and 
nobles ; and fifty or sixty years ago it was very common. 

When Bishop Heber was at the court of Baroda, " The 
Rajah," he says, " was anxious to know whether I had ob- 
served his rhinoceros and his hunting-tigers, and offered to 
show me a day's sport with the last, or to bait an elephant 
for me, — a cruel amusement which is here not uncommon. 
... I do not think he understood my motive for declining to 
be present." 

" At the palace of Jyepoor," says the same writer, " we 


were shown five or six elephants in training for a fight. Each 
was separately kept in a small, paved court, with a little 
litter, but very dirty. They were all what is called ' must ; ' 
that is, fed on stimulating substances, to make them furious : 
and all showed in their eyes, their gaping mouths, and the 
constant motion of their trunks, signs of fever and restless- 
ness. Their mahouts seemed to approach them with great 
caution ; and, on hearing a step, they turned round as far as 
their chains would allow, and lashed fiercely with their 

Mr. Crawford states that elephant combats were common 
in his day ; but, as a rule, the animals, directed by mahouts, 
fought across a stout railing, the method of attack being to 
butt each other, and cut with the tusks. 

Father Tachard, a French Jesuit, witnessed an elephant- 
fight in Siam, in 1685, before the king. The animals were 
matched against each other, but were securely tied by the 
hind-legs, so they could not severely injure each other. They 
fenced with their tusks, striking such powerful blows that 
one of the combatants lost its tusks. 

Elephant-fights have been a favorite amusement in India 
from the very earliest times. At Agra, according to the 
" Ayeen Akbery," the emperor built a large amphitheatre 
especially for these performances ; and Robert Covert, who 
travelled in Hindostan in 1609, in referring to Agra, tells 
of elephants fighting before the Mogul, parted with rockets 
of wild-fire, made round, like hoops, which they thrust in 
their faces. 

The finest account extant of one of these combats is given 
by Bernier : — 

" The festivals generally conclude with an amusement 


unknown in Europe, — a combat between two elephants, 
which takes place in the presence of all the people, on the 
sandy space near the river ; the king, the principal ladies of 
the court, and the omrahs, viewing the spectacle from differ- 
ent apartments in the fortress. 

" A wall of earth is raised three or four French feet wide, 
and five or six high. The two ponderous beasts meet one 
another face to face, on opposite sides of the wall, each hav- 
ing a couple of riders, that the place of the man who sits on 
the shoulders, for the purpose of guiding the elephant with 
a large iron hook, may immediately be supplied if he should 
be thrown down. The riders animate the elephants, either 
by soothing words, or by chiding them as cowards, and urge 
them on with their heels, until the poor creatures approach 
the wall, and are brought to the attack. The shock is tre- 
mendous ; and it appears surprising that they even survive 
the fearful wounds and blows inflicted with their teeth, their 
heads, and their trunks. There are frequent pauses during 
the fight ; it is suspended and renewed ; and the mud wall 
being at length thrown down, the stronger or more coura- 
geous elephant passes on, attacks his opponent, and, putting 
him to flight, pursues and fastens upon him so obstinately, 
that the animals can be separated only by means of cherkys, 
or fireworks, which are made to explode between them ; for 
they are naturally timid, and have a particular dread of fire, 
which is the reason why elephants have been used with so 
very little advantage in armies since the use of fire-arms. 
The boldest come from Ceylon ; but none are employed in 
war which have not been regularly trained, and accustomed 
for years to the discharge of muskets close to their heads, 
and the bursting of crackers between their legs. 



Page 23g. 



tiluc-n foom0*tion3. 


" The fight of these noble animals is attended with much 
cruelty. It frequently happens that some of the riders are 
trodden under foot, and killed on the spot ; the elephant hav- 
ing always cunning enough to feel the importance of dis- 
mounting the rider of his adversary, whom he therefore 
endeavors to strike down with his trunk. So imminent is 
the danger considered, that, on the day of combat, the un- 
happy men take the same formal leave of their wives and 
children as if condemned to death. They are somewhat 
consoled by the reflection, that, if their lives should be pre- 
served, and the king be pleased with their conduct, not only 
will their pay be augmented, but a sack of peyssas (equal to 
fifty francs) will be presented to them the moment they 
alight from the elephant. They have also the satisfaction of 
knowing, that, in the event of their death, the pay will be 
continued to the widows, and that their sons will be ap- 
pointed to the same situation. The mischief with which this 
amusement is attended does not always terminate with the 
death of the rider : it often happens that some of the specta- 
tors are knocked down and trampled upon by the elephants, 
or by the crowd ; for the rush is terrible when, to avoid the 
infuriated combatants, men and horses, in confusion, take to 
flight. The second time I witnessed this exhibition, I owed 
my safety entirely to the goodness of my horse and the 
exertions of my two servants." 

In the middle of the seventeenth century, elephant-fight- 
ing was a favorite amusement among the princes of the Mo- 
gul empire. Almost every day some exhibition was given, 
devised to afford a display of the greatest cruelty. A single 
elephant was matched against six horses, which were killed 
by being clasped about the neck by the elephant, and suffo' 


cated, or impaled by their tusks. On other occasions, the 
elephant was matched against a tiger. Mr. Crawford wit- 
nessed such a performance. The tiger was muzzled, and its 
claws cut, and was finally killed by successive tosses from 
the tusks of the infuriated elephant, who hurled the helpless 
animal a distance of thirty feet. 

At one of the Mogul entertainments, an English bull-dog 
was matched against an elephant. The pugnacious animal 
seized the trunk of the elephant, and clung to it until it was 
jerked into the air to a great height. But it held on so long, 
that bull-dogs became great favorites with the Mogul, who 
had them carried about in palanquins with him, and is said 
to have fed them himself with silver tongs, made expressly 
for the purpose. Pliny gives an account of two remarkable 
dogs, which were presented to Alexander the Great by the 
King of Albania, one of which vanquished an elephant. 
Happily, the day for these barbarous contests has gone by, 
at least in civilized nations. 




IN all the magnificent ceremonials and pageants of the 
Orient, the elephant forms a prominent feature : and 
even to-day we are delighted and amused with the impres- 
sive spectacle a herd presents as it marches in the proces- 
sion of the circus ; the dignified bearing of the animals, 
their measured tread, and large stature, all adding to the 
grandeur of the scene. 

That this was recognized in olden times, is well known ; 
and, whenever a king desired to show his power and riches to 
the best advantage, the elephant was employed. Bernier 
has given a vivid description of some of the processions of 
the East. 

" I cannot avoid," he says, " dwelling on this pompous pro- 
cession of the seraglio. It strongly arrested my attention 
during the late march, and I feel delight in recalling it to 
my memory. Stretch imagination to its utmost limits, and 
you can conceive no exhibition more grand and imposing 
than when Rochinara Begum (Aurengzebe's sister)? mounted 
on a stupendous Pegu elephant, and seated in a mik- 
dember, blazing with gold and azure, is followed by five or 
six other elephants, with mik-dembers nearly as resplendent 
as her own, and filled with ladies attached to her household. 


Close to the princess are the chief eunuchs, richly adorned 
and finely mounted, each with a cane in his hand ; and, sur- 
rounding her elephant, a troop of female servants from Tar- 
tary and Kashmire, fantastically attired, and riding handsome 
pad-horses. Besides these attendants, are several eunuchs 
on horseback, accompanied by a multitude of pagys, or 
lackeys, on foot, with large canes, who advance a great way 
before the princess, both to the right and to the left, for the 
purpose of clearing the road, and driving before them every 
intruder. Immediately behind Rochinara Begum's retinue 
appears a principal lady of the court, mounted and attended 
much in the same manner as the princess. This lady is fol- 
lowed by a third ; she by a fourth ; and so on, until fifteen 
or sixteen females of quality pass, with a grandeur of appear- 
ance, equipage, and retinue, more or less proportionate to 
their rank, pay, and office. There is something very impres- 
sive of state and royalty in the march of these sixty or more 
elephants ; in their solemn and, as it were, measured steps ; 
in the splendor of their mik-dembers, and the brilliant and 
innumerable followers in attendance. And if I had not re- 
garded this display of magnificence with a sort of philosophi- 
cal indifference, I should have been apt to be carried away 
by the similar flights of imagination as inspire most of the 
Indian poets, when they represent the elephants as carrying 
so many goddesses, concealed from the vulgar gaze." 

For many years after the capture of India by the British, 
elephants were employed by the princes and nobles ; but 
now their use is prohibited in Calcutta, on account of the 
many accidents that resulted ; and in British India the ani- 
mal is rarely seen on occasions of ceremony, except at the 
courts of native princes who still have some authority. 


Elephants were employed in the ceremonies of the Jugger- 
naut; five elephants preceding the car containing the idol, 
"bearing towering flags, dressed in crimson caparisons, and 
having bells hanging to their caparisons." 

At the time when the two sons of Tippoo were received 
as hostages by Lord Cornwallis, they approached his lordship 
mounted on a richly ornamented elephant, and seated in a 
silver howdah. 

According to a contemporaneous writer, at the Vizier 
Ally's wedding, 1795, "The procession was grand beyond 
conception. It consisted of about twelve hundred elephants, 
richly caparisoned, drawn up in a regular line, like a regi- 
ment of soldiers. About one hundred elephants in the centre 
had howdahs, or castles, covered with silver : in the midst of 
these appeared the nabob, mounted on an uncommonly large 
elephant, within a howdah covered with gold, richly set with 
precious stones." 

The Moguls were particularly fond of parade and display, 
and daily they had an elephant dress-parade ; all their finest 
elephants being marched before them, harnessed in the most 
magnificent manner. 

The elephant-parades at the court of Aurengzebe have 
been described b} r Bernier, and those of the court of Jehan- 
ghir by Sir Thomas Rowe. The latter says, " His greatest 
elephants were brought before him, some of which, being 
lord elephants, had their chains, bells, and furniture of gold 
and silver, attended with gilt banners and flags ; and eight 
or ten elephants waiting on him, clothed in gold, silver, and 
silk. Thus passed about twelve companies, most richly fur- 
nished ; the first elephant having all the plates on his head 
and breast set with rubies and emeralds, being a beast of a 


wonderful stature and beauty. They all bowed down before 
the king." 

The secret of this adulation was not any particular respect 
to the king, as might be expected from this description. 
When the elephant passed its royal master, the driver 
perched upon its neck pricked him so violently with his in- 
strument, that the elephant bent its knee, raised its trunk, 
and roared lustily with pain. 

All kings and potentates could not afford to keep up 
such an expensive establishment ; and many were the tricks 
that were resorted to, to make a few elephants afford a 
great display. When Mr. Bell, the famous traveller, visit- 
ed Pekin, he was entertained by the officials with what 
was intended to be a magnificent display of elephants. 
" After dinner," he says, " we saw the huge elephants, 
richly caparisoned in gold and silver stuffs. Each had a 
driver. We stood about an hour admiring these saga- 
cious animals, who, passing before us at equal distances, 
returned again behind the stables, and so on, round and 
round, till there seemed to be no end to the procession. 
The plot, however, was discovered by the features and 
dress of the riders: the chief keeper told us there were 
only sixty of them." 

An Eastern account of the embassy from Shah Rohk, son 
of Tamerlane, to the emperor of China, describes the grand 
feast in China on New- Year's Day, A.D. 1420. "The ele- 
phants were adorned with a magnificence not to be expressed, 
with silver seats and standards, and armed men upon their 
backs. Fifty of them carried the musicians : these were pre- 
ceded or followed by fifty thousand, in profound silence and 
order." Undoubtedly the same mystification was adopted 


with the ambassadors as in the case of Mr. Bell, only it was 
more successful. 

In Rome, Julius Csesar and his successors employed the 
elephant to draw them in gorgeous chariots. When Caesar 
celebrated his victories in Gaul, elephants were used to carry 
torches to illuminate the processions, which generally took 
place after dark. In celebrating his African triumphs, the 
captured spoils were borne upon chariots of ivory ; and when 
Pompey returned from his victories in Africa, he was borne 
in a chariot that was drawn by four elephants of the largest 
size, to the very gates of Rome. 

Gibbon thus describes the triumph of Aurelian (A.D. 
274): — 

" The pomp was opened by twenty elephants, four royal 
tigers, and above two hundred of the most curious animals 
from every climate of the north, the east, and the south. 
They were followed by one thousand six hundred gladiators, 
devoted to the cruel amusement of the amphitheatre. The 
triumphal car of Aurelian on this memorable occasion (it 
had formerly been used by a Gothic king) was drawn either 
by four stags or by four elephants." 

The most remarkable display of elephants in modern 
times, is undoubtedly that made in honor of the visit of the 
Prince of Wales to India. At Kandy, Ceylon, he witnessed 
the wonderful festival of Perahara, in which long processions 
of these noble animals passed in review, caparisoned in the 
most costly manner, bearing howdahs that defy description. 
One of the latter, which was presented to him at Jyepore, 
was of silver, and a work of art in all its parts. At Agra, 
the prince, mounted upon a huge elephant, covered with 
costly trappings, passed in between a double line of ele- 


phants, bearing the native princes and men of rank, probably 
the most imposing spectacle of his visit. At the rehearsal 
of the Perahara at Kandy, the prince fed the great ele- 
phants with sugar-cane, and with his suite, and numbers 
of ladies and gentlemen, reviewed the host of giants. (See 
Plate XX.) 

At Lahore his Royal Highness was greeted with saluta- 
tions from long lines of gayly bedecked elephants, which, 
with crowds of natives, extended for a great distance along 
the drive : and finally, at Colombo, two huge pachyderms 
were stationed, face to face, upon opposite sides of the road, 
bearing upon their backs various ornamentations and pla- 
cards of welcome ; and, when the prince appeared, the huge 
animals raised their trunks aloft, and joined them over the 
road, bearing aloft a crown. Under this living arch, the 
austere company of guests and guards passed. (See Plate 

Many of the conquests and ceremonies of the early days 
are commemorated on medals, described in Chap. XX. ; and 
fine bass-reliefs are in existence, telling the story of the won- 
derful deeds in which the elephant took no minor part. 








DURING the recent war between England and Burmah, 
which resulted in the overthrow of King Theebaw, the 
elephant was frequently mentioned in despatches as being a 
valuable auxiliary to the troops when on the march; and that 
these noble animals constitute an important feature of many 
military posts in India, is, perhaps, not generally known. 
Such, however, is the case ; and the service they perform 
when it is necessary to transport troops, is invaluable. The 
elephant is not only attached to divisions as a baggage-car- 
rier, but is utilized in actual service, elephant-batteries being 
organized for field-work. The Bengal, Bombay, and Madras 
artillery establishments each comprise an armament of two 
eighteen-pounder S. B. guns, one eight-inch iron howitzer, 
two eight-inch mortars, and two bronze mortars of five and 
a half inch calibre, with seven gun-carriages and platforms, 
and twenty-two ammunition-wagons drawn by bullocks. 
Nine elephants and two hundred and ninety bullocks were 
required for the battery, with ten riding mahouts, and one 
hundred and fifty native drivers. 

The appearance of an elephant-battery in the field is 
very striking, and certainly the huge animals offer a good 
target to the artillery of the opposing force. Each elephant 


has a large pad, or saddle, strapped upon it, upon which rests 
the ammunition-box, or other article, as the case may be. 
Upon the neck of each elephant sits the mahout ; while be- 
hind the ammunition-chest is stationed a soldier, who serves 
out the shot to the man detailed to carry it. It is said that 
the animals soon become accustomed to the noise of firing, 
and do not mind it in the least. 

In the last Burmese war, the variety of uses to which 
these intelligent animals could be put, was shown on many 
occasions. After Theebaw had been overthrown, the coun- 
try of Upper Burmah was overrun with gangs of robbers, 
called dacoits. blood-thirsty miscreants who pillaged the vil- 
lages of peaceful natives, and even threatened Mandalay. 
To suppress them, the armed steam-launches " Pegu " and 
" Patrol " were sent up the river Sittang ; and, in the chase, 
the " Patrol " ran aground on a shoal. There were literally 
no appliances for hauling her off, until some one happened 
to think of the elephant : forthwith, a large tusker was har- 
nessed to the launch, and, urged by its mahout and the men 
of the other launch near by, the huge animal plunged into 
the river, and drew the heavy boat into deeper water. 

Elephant-batteries have been used by the British Govern- 
ment in various parts of the East. In the third command of 
the Royal Artillery, the elephants transport the guns; and, 
on their return from the Lughman-valley expedition, they 
carried the battery in perfect safety across the dangerous and 
rapid Cabul River, where, a few months previous, a number 
of soldiers had lost their lives. When about to march, the 
gun, limber, and eight ammunition-boxes are hoisted upon 
the backs of the elephants in six minutes, fourteen gunners 
being required to perform the service. In some of the bat- 


teries, camels are employed to bear the ammunition. Often, 
when guns and carriages become caught in rocks or mud, 
the elephant is used to rescue them. Count de Warren 
mentions an instance that occurred in his brigade in the 
Coorg war in India. He says, " Having reached a point 
where the bed of the torrent fell in cascades, it became a 
question as to the mode of raising the guns up the almost 
vertical declivity of a granite rock, the surface of which the 
waters had worn and polished. The oxen which drew the 
cannon gave up the attempt after one or two efforts, and lay 
down, as they always do in desperate cases. I was then de~ 
termined to send for some elephants of the convoy. Two of 
the most docile were stripped of their loads, and led by their 
guides to the place where the cannons were left. It was indi- 
cated to them, by voice and gesture, what was expected from 
their courage ; and the confidence thus shown in them was 
not misplaced. One of the colossal beasts, placing himself 
behind the gun, applied the base of his trunk to it, and, push- 
ing it before him, whilst the cannoneers guided it, sent it up 
the rocky chasm." 

An instance is recorded during the march to Lucknow in 
1858, that illustrates the nerve of the elephant under fire, 
and shows how perfect is their obedience to the mahout. 
Gen. Outram, desiring to annoy the enemy's flank, or- 
dered the elephant-battery into line. The guns were soon 
dismounted; and, as soon as firing commenced, one of the 
elephants, Kudabar-Moll, was stationed by his mahout, or 
driver, behind the piece, and in a short time was almost 
alone, the artillery-men being shot down by the musketry 
of the enemy. Soon the man that served the shot fell, leav- 
ing three men to fire the piece. This they did for a while ; 


the elephant, acting under instructions of his mahout, 
handing them cartridges from the wagon. As the last shot 
was loaded, and before it could be fired, two men were killed, 
and one badly wounded; yet he held up the match to 
the elephant, who, at his driver's command, touched it to the 
vent, and fired the gun, the act being witnessed by a com- 
pany of infantry that came to the rescue, and ultimately put 
to flight the opposing force. 

In telling this story, it is very tempting to leave the ma- 
hout out of the question, which was once done, giving the 
elephant the entire credit ; but it is quite enough that the 
animal should obey so implicitly under such trying circum- 

Elephants have been known, innocently of course, to turn 
the tide of battle; and a story is told in Lahore, India, 
of a noble old animal who was the standard-bearer in an 
Indian battle, carrying on his broad back the royal ensign 
which was the rallying-point of the Poonah host. For some 
time the huge animal bore the standard in the midst of the 
fray. Suddenly the enemy made a vigorous charge; and 
the mahout at the same moment commanding him to halt, 
the old elephant stood firm, while the opposing force came 
on. The mahout dropped dead from his back ; the men about- 
were routed, turned, and fled ; and in a short time the ele- 
phant was almost surrounded by the enemy. A moment 
more, he would have been captured, when a mighty shout 
rose from the retreating forces. They saw the standard still 
firm on the elephant's back ; and, refusing to believe they 
were beaten, with a victorious cry they charged the enemy 
with such valor that they were swept down like chaff; and 
the elephant, who still stood like a rock amid the dead and 


dying, was once more within its own lines, the true victor. 
The mahout's last command had been obeyed, and the ani- 
mal remained like a statue until some one took the dead 
driver's place. 

In the last centuries, elephants were used much more than 
at present, and an army camp was an extraordinary sight ; 
curiously enough, the attendants and camp-followers often 
amounting to ten times the actual fighting-men. When the 
Marquis Cornwallis took the field in the war with Tippoo, 
the followers were estimated at one million souls. The 
number of elephants, compared to the bullocks, horses, and 
camels, was insignificant ; but the rule was fifty elephants 
to every eight thousand soldiers : and, to give an idea of 
these astonishing campaigns, I introduce an account by an 
officer who took part in this one, Lieut. Shipp. 

"My post of baggage-master being a situation which is, 
I believe, peculiar to India, it may not be improper to state 
its duties. He is a staff-officer, and, when not employed in 
his particular department, is attached to the suite of the 
commander of the division as much as the commissary-gen- 
eral, quartermaster-general, or any other staff-officer of the 
division. On the line of march, he is held entirely respon- 
sible that neither men nor baggage precede the column of 
march, and that they are on their proper flank, which is 
regulated by the general orders of the day. If the reader 
recollect what I before stated, that he may safely calculate 
ten followers in a Bengal army to every fighting-man ; and 
when he is informed, that, according to the calculations made 
in our camp, including the several native contingencies we 
had with us, our followers were not less in number than 
eighty thousand men, women, and children ; some thirty 


thousand following the army for what they could pick up, by 
fair means or otherwise, — my situation cannot be supposed 
to have been a sinecure. It was truly one of great labor 
and activity. I had twenty men belonging to a corps of 
local horse. These men were provided with long whips, and 
placed at my disposal. To attempt to talk the numberless 
camp-followers into obedience was quite out of the question , 
and, therefore, these whips were for the purpose of lashing 
them into something like discipline. To the great number 
of human beings I have spoken of, must be added fifty ele- 
phants, six hundred camels, five thousand bullocks, five 
thousand horses, one thousand ponies, two hundred goats, 
the same number of sheep, fifty ruts, one hundred palan- 
quins, one hundred dogs, and one hundred hackeries, or 

The elephant in a heavily wooded country is greatly ap- 
preciated in time of war ; as their huge bodies can crush 
through the underbrush, trample down the reeds, and make 
a good road, over which the gun-carriages and teams can be 
hauled. A writer on an early Burmese war says, "The 
road lay partly through a thick jungle ; but with the aid 
of three elephants, a passage was forced." When a bog is 
met, or roads have been overflowed, making ordinary passage 
almost impossible, the elephants, under direction of their ma- 
houts, place their heads (the base of the trunk) against the 
teams, and push them along, or take ropes attached to the gun- 
carriages between their teeth, and haul them out of the 

Capt. Williamson lays much stress upon the importance 
of the work performed by these animals. "Many of our 
most arduous military operations have been greatly indebted 


for their success to the sagacity, patience, and exertion of 
elephants. Exclusive of their utility in carrying baggage 
and stores, considerable aid is frequently supplied by the 
judgment the} r display, bordering very closely on reason. 
When cannon require to be extricated from sloughs, the 
elephant, placing his forehead to the muzzle, — which, when 
limbered, is the head of the piece, — with an energy scarcely 
to be conceived, will urge it through a bog, from which hun- 
dreds of oxen or horses could not drag it. At other times, 
lapping his trunk round the cannon, he will lift, while the 
cattle and men pull forward. The native princes attach an 
elephant to each cannon, to aid its progress in emergencies. 
For this purpose, the animal is furnished with a thick leather 
pad, covering the forehead, to prevent its being injured. It 
has sometimes happened, that in narrow roads or causeways, 
or on banks, the soil has given way under heavy cannon ; 
when an elephant, being applied to the falling side, has not 
only prevented the piece from upsetting, but even aided it 
forward to a state of security." 

Small howitzers, that can be placed upon the elephant's 
back, were not the only guns the animals had to carry. 
Aurengzebe had cannon in his army which required twenty 
yoke of oxen, besides elephants, who pushed at the wheels, 
and hauled. 

The patience and fidelity of the elephant when on the 
march are proverbial, and they can nearly always be depended 
upon. In the steep passes, or ghauts, of India, the work is 
often of the most laborious description. An eye-witness thus 
describes a scene where their pluck and sagacity were put 
most thoroughly to the test : — 

" There was a small ravine branching off from the bed of 


a dry river, in which our encampment lay, and its entrance 
looked like the dreary access to some deep cavern. We 
entered this little gaping cavern, leaving the principal part 
of our force for the protection of our standing tents and 
baggage. We were equipped as lightly as possible. Two 
six-pounders were conveyed on elephants ; and our march 
seemed to lie through the bed of this ravine, which was 
rocky, and watered by a crystal current, that rippled along 
its flinty bed. We did not proceed at the rate of more than 
one or two yards an hour, — ascending and descending every 
twenty paces ; at one time deep sunk in some dark excava- 
tion, and shortly afterwards perched upon the summit of a 
rock, the falling of the numerous cataracts drowning the 
noise made by our approach. . . . Our march now became 
more and more tardy, and the ascents and descents more 
difficult and intricate. In some places, rocks of gigantic 
size hung some hundred feet overhead. These sudden and 
tremendous hills and dales indicated that we could not have 
far to go ; for the last hill was scarcely accessible. . . . We 
halted a considerable time, — till broad daylight, when we 
could see, from where I stood, the soldiers in advance of us, 
ascending by means of projecting rocks and boughs. We 
were halted in a kind of basin, surrounded by high hills. 
In the course of a couple of hours, the whole of the Eighty- 
seventh Regiment, with our gallant general and suite, as- 
cended this difficult ghaut. From this eminence we could 
see a great distance ; and on every hill we could discern 
signals, which were communicated from post to post. . . . 
What will not good examples effect on the minds of soldiers? 
Our general walked every yard of this critical march, en- 
couraging his men. The question now was, how to get 


the guns up, and the powder and shot ; but those who are 
accustomed to wars in India, are not often at a loss for 
expedients. Having got all the men up, except the rear- 
guard, the pioneers went to work with their pickaxes, some 
making a road, and others felling trees. As we were but 
two regiments, the general's primary object was to place our 
little force to the best advantage. This accomplished, the 
guns were our next object. Having cut a good deal of 
the most prominent part of the hill away, and lain trees on 
the ascent as a footing for the elephants, these animals were 
made to approach it, which the first did with some reluc- 
tance and fear. He looked up, shook his head, and, when 
forced by his driver, roared piteously. There can be no 
question, in my opinion, that this sagacious animal was 
competent instinctively to judge of the practicability of the 
artificial flight of steps thus constructed ; for, the moment 
some little alterations had been made, he seemed willing to 
approach. He then commenced his examination and scru- 
tiny, by pressing with his trunk the trees that had been 
thrown across ; and after this he put his fore-leg on, with 
great caution, raising the fore-part of his body so as to throw 
its weight on the tree. This done, he seemed satisfied as to 
its stability. The next step for him to ascend by, was a 
projecting rock, which we could not remove. Here the same 
sagacious examinations took place, the elephant keeping his 
flat side close to the side of the bank, and leaning against 
it. The next step was against a tree ; but this, on the first 
pressure of his trunk, he did not like. Here his driver made 
use of the most endearing epithets, such as ' wonderful, my 
life,' ' my wife ; ' but all these endearing appellations, of 
which elephants are so fond, would not induce him to try 


again. Force was at length resorted to; and the elephant 
roared terrifically, but would not move. Something was 
then removed ; he seemed satisfied, as before : and he in time 
ascended that stupendous ghaut. On his reaching the top, 
his delight was visible in a most eminent degree : he caressed 
his keepers, and threw the dirt about in a most playful man- 
ner. Another elephant, a much younger animal, was now 
to follow. He had watched the ascent of the other with the 
most intense interest, making motions all the while, as 
though he was assisting him by shouldering him up the 
acclivity, — such gestures as I have seen some men make 
when spectators of gymnastic exercises. When he saw his 
comrade up, he evinced his pleasure by giving a salute some- 
thing like the sound of a trumpet. When called upon to 
take his turn, however, he seemed much alarmed, and would 
not act at all without force. When lie was two steps up, 
he slipped, but recovered himself by digging his toes in the 
earth. With the exception of this little accident, he as- 
cended exceedingly well. When this elephant was near the 
top, the other, who had already performed his task, extended 
his trunk to the assistance of his brother in distress, round 
which the younger animal in twined his, and thus reached the 
summit of the ghaut in safety. Having both accomplished 
their task, their greeting was as cordial as if they had been 
long separated from each other, and had just escaped from 
some perilous achievement. They mutually embraced each 
other, and stood face to face for a considerable time, as if 
whispering congratulations. Their driver then made them 
salaam to the general, who ordered them five rupees each for 
sweetmeats. On this reward of their merit being ordered, 
they immediately returned thanks by another salaam." 


The British forces in India during a war rarely put ele- 
phants into the field for active service, the animals being too 
conspicuous, and too valuable to risk. But with the Burmese, 
this was different ; they were prodigal of their elephants. 
During a Burmese war, a garrison of infantry and cavalry 
marched out with seventeen war elephants, fully caparisoned, 
and bearing a number of armed men. They advanced upon 
a fort amid a murderous fire, which killed the men upon 
them, and their mahouts; but in no case did an elephant 
lose its head. They stood the fire steadily until their 
mahouts were shot ; and then, feeling themselves unre- 
strained, they slowly and calmly walked back to their 
fort, their bravery and courage being greatly admired by 
the opposing force. 

In the last half-century, in any revolt, or where Indian na- 
tive troops have been brought against the English, elephants 
have been rarely used ; experience showing that their slow 
movements render them unfit for valuable or active service 
in the field. 

Perhaps the last time they were seen in their former 
grandeur was in the war of Coromandel, when the British 
were fighting the native chiefs. The latter came out on 
some occasions equipped like the old Mogul emperors, to be 
described later on. The nabob of Arcot and his famous 
rival, Chundasaheb, both came upon the field on elephants; 
and had not a French bullet put an end to the former, a duel 
by these potentates would have been witnessed. As soon as 
the nabob caught sight of his rival's elephant, bedecked with 
its owner's standard, he became furious, and offered his ma- 
hout a valuable reward if he would make his elephant over- 
throw that of his enemy, who was the author of his defeat. 


The mahout was urging the elephant on, when a bullet struck 
the nabob in the heart, and he fell from the howdah. Soon 
after this tragic event, Nazir-jing, a son of the Mogul, entered 
the Carnatic with a most imposing force, — a battalion of 
thirteen hundred elephants, three hundred thousand soldiers, 
and eight hundred pieces of cannon. He, too, was shot from 
his elephant. 

An elephant, duel was observed in the field between 
Murzafa-jing, the Soubah of the Carnatic, and the nabob of 
Canoul. The elephants of the rivals were urged toward each 
other by the mahouts ; and Murzafa-jing raised his sword to 
strike, when his adversary thrust his javelin, which pierced 
his forehead, killing him on the spot. At the same instant, 
at least a thousand bullets were fired at the nabob, who also 
fell, mortally wounded, from his elephant. 

The introduction of fire-arms into warfare was the cause 
of the withdrawal of the elephant from active field-work. 
The great creature was too prominent a target, and the men 
upon its back were the most conspicuous objects in the field. 
It was a long time, however, before the natives would give 
up this animal, so strong was custom. From its back, the 
old generals directed their warriors and the movements of 
the battle ; and, when the elephant left the field, it was 
usually a sign that a retreat had been ordered, and rout 
generally followed. 

In the battle in which Aurengzebe gained the victory over 
Dara, he ordered his elephant's legs to be chained, so that he 
could not retreat. Bernier tells this story as follows : — 

" Calil-ullah had suffered some indignity at the hands of 
Dara, and he considered the hour arrived when he might 
gratify the resentment which had never ceased tu rankle in 


his bosom. His abstinence from all share in the battle did 
not, however, produce the mischief intended, Dara having 
proved victorious without the co-operation of the right wing. 
The traitor, therefore, had recourse to another expedient. 
He quitted his division, followed by a few persons; and riding 
with speed towards Dara, precisely at the same moment when 
that prince was hastening to assist in the downfall of Morud- 
Bakche, he exclaimed, while yet at some distance, ' Mohbarek 
bad ! Hazaret ! Salamet ! Elhamd-ul-ellah ! May you be 
happy ! May your Majesty enjoy health, and reign in safety ! 
The victory is your own ! But let me ask, why are you still 
mounted on this lofty elephant ? Have you not been suffi- 
ciently exposed to danger ? If one of the numberless arrows 
or balls, which have pierced your canopy, had touched your 
person, who can imagine the dreadful situation to which we 
should be reduced ? In Heaven's name, descend quickly, 
and mount your horse : nothing now remains but to pursue 
the fugitives with vigor. I entreat your Majesty, permit 
them not to escape.' 

" Had Dara considered the consequences of quitting the 
back of his elephant, on which he had displayed so much 
valor, and served as a rallying-point of the army, he would 
have become master of the empire ; but the credulous prince, 
duped by the artful obsequiousness of Calil-ullah, listened to 
his advice as though it had been sincere. He descended 
from the elephant, and mounted his horse ; but a quarter 
of an hour had not elapsed, when, suspecting the imposture, 
he inquired impatiently for Calil-ullah. The villain was 
not, however, within his reach ; he inveighed vehemently 
against that officer, and threatened him with death ; but 
Dara's rage was now impotent, and his menace incapable of 


being executed. The troops having missed their prince, 
a rumor quickly spread that he was killed, and the army 
betrayed ; a universal panic seized them ; every man thought 
only of his own safety, and how to escape from the resent- 
ment of Aurengzebe. In a few minutes the army seemed 
disbanded, and (strange and sudden reverse !) the conqueror 
became the vanquished. Aurengzebe remained fur a quarter 
of an hour steadily on his elephant, and was rewarded with 
the crown of Hindostan. Dara left his own elephant a few 
minutes too soon, and was hurled from the pinnacle of glory 
to be numbered among the most miserable of princes." 

The younger brother of Dara, the famous Sultan Sujah, 
lost his empire in an almost identical manner, or owing to 
the elephant being a rallying-point. A French engineer 
raised the siege of Daman by an ingenious device. They 
had a large supply of fireworks, principally rockets ; and, 
sallying forth, they fired them in among Aurengzebe's ele- 
phants, causing them to turn on their own troops, creating 
the greatest confusion and an ultimate rout. 

In the old Mogul empire, the armor of elephants called to 
mind that used in the age of chivalry. The elephants of 
Akbar wore plates of massive iron upon their foreheads : 
while the king of Ternassery, who was famous for his enor- 
mous elephants, all being selected, like the Swiss Guard, for 
their great size, had his animals covered completely with 
armor made of beef-hides, which were fastened beneath the 
stomach with heavy chains. The " Ayeen Akbery " (a native 
work) " is more minute. ' Five plates of iron, each one 
cubit long and four fingers broad, are joined together by 
rings, and fastened round the ears of the elephant by four 
chains, each an ell in length ; and betwixt these another 


chain passes over the head, and is fastened in the kellawah ; 
and across it are four iron spikes, with katasses and iron 
knobs. There are other chains, with iron spikes and knobs, 
hung under the throat and over the breast, and others fas- 
tened to the trunk : these are for ornament, and to frighten 
horses. Pakher is a kind of steel armor that covers the body 
of the elephant : there are other pieces of it for the head and 
proboscis. G-ejjhemp is a covering made of three folds, and 
is laid over the pakher." 1 Dow adds, that ' a sword is bound 
to their trunk, and daggers are fastened to their tusks.' But 
the mighty power of the animal in crushing the ranks of an 
enemy was principally relied upon. The armor and the 
swords were to add to the dismay which an immense troop 
of elephants were of themselves calculated to produce. The 
emperor of Akbar well knew their power in scattering masses 
of terrified men. On one occasion, when he stormed the fort 
of Chitar, the garrison retired to the temples. ' ' Akbar, per- 
ceiving he must lose a great number of his troops in case of 
a close attack, ordered a distant fire to be kept up upon the 
desperate Rajaputs, till he had introduced three hundred 
elephants of war, which he immediately ordered to advance 
to tread them to death. The scene now became too shock- 
ing to be described. Brave men, rendered more valiant by 
despair, crowded around the elephants, seized them even by 
the tusks, and inflicted upon them unavailing wounds. The 
terrible animals trod the Indians like grasshoppers under 
their feet, or, winding them in their powerful trunks, tossed 
them aloft into the air, or dashed them against the walls 
and pavements. Of the garrison, which consisted of eight 
thousand soldiers and of forty thousand inhabitants, thirty 
thousand were slain, and most of the rest taken prisoners.' 


In the rapid marches of this victorious prince, the elephants 
suffered greatly. Purchas, speaking of his progress from 
Kashmire in 1597, says, ' This country he left when summer 
was past, and returned to Lahore, losing many elephants 
and horses in the way, both by famine, then oppressing the 
country, and the difficulty of the passages ; the elephants 
sometimes, in the ascent of the hills, helping themselves 
with their trunks, leaning and staying themselves, being 
burthened, thereon, as on a staff.' " 

The terror which elephants produced on foot -soldiers 
was well appreciated three centuries ago, and victory was 
generally gained by the side that possessed the greatest 
number of these animals. The fear of elephants was the 
greatest difficulty the famous adventurer Timour had to 
deal with when on his victorious march through Persia, 
Siberia, and Russia. His men replied to his war-speeches, 
" We may subdue Hind ; yet it hath many ramparts, rivers, 
wildernesses, and forests ; soldiers clad in armor ; and the 
elephants, the destroyers of men." 

When the army arrived upon the plains in front of Delhi, 
he had to take the most extraordinary precautions to prevent 
this morbid fear from resulting in a rout. An enormous 
ditch was built around the camp, to prevent an inroad of 
invading elephants. Buffaloes were tied together by the 
neck, and arranged about the ramparts, and their horns 
bedecked with rushes, while men were stationed to set them 
on fire at the first approach of the terrible elephants. What 
would have been the effect of this conflagration on the un- 
fortunate bullocks, imagination can picture. The opposing 
force to Timour in this battle (A.D. 1399) was the Sultan 
Mamood, and the remarkable armament of his elephants 



By permission Illustrated London News. 

Page 2SS- 



T!LDt?N f<jl>NL>*.TtONS. 



was certainly enough to strike terror to the boldest heart. 
His army consisted of ten thousand horse, forty thousand 
foot-soldiers, and elephants. The latter were arrayed in 
armor, and mounted with bastions rilled with men armed 
with crossbows. Their tusks were elongated with poisoned 
daggers ; and on scaffolds hung to the sides stood armed men, 
bearing fire and melted pitch and iron-pointed rockets to hurl 
and throw at the enemy. As this army marched forward, 
the men upon their backs beating kettledrums, cymbals, 
bells, and trumpets, the brave followers of Timour fell back, 
utterly demoralized, before the appalling sight ; and the com- 
mander himself fell upon his knees in prayer, — a character- 
istic one: "As my vast conquests have caused the destruc- 
tion of a great number of God's creatures, I have resolved to 
atone for the crimes of my past life by exterminating the 
infidels of China." In some way the Delhi elephants threw 
their own left wing into disorder. Timour's horsemen rushed 
forward ; and the elephants, demoralized at their sabre-cuts, 
fled in great confusion, while the sharp weapons aimed at 
their trunks left many upon the field. As the great animals 
fled, Timour's men saw that the elephants were not invinci- 
ble, and, rushing to the front, completed the disastrous rout. 
Timour's grandson, a boy of fifteen, made himself conspic- 
uous by attacking and wounding an elephant, overthrowing 
its riders, and driving the huge animal into his grandfather's 
camp. The day following the battle of Delhi, Timour sat 
upon the throne of the Indian monarch, and a procession of 
twelve rhinoceroses and one hundred and twenty captive 
elephants were paraded before him ; and afterwards sent as 
presents to the Persian provinces; while the unfortunate 
people were slaughtered by his soldiers. 


Elephants were not always demoralized in these wars; and 
in another battle this same conqueror had the front of his 
army protected by a line of elephants, their towers filled 
with archers and Greek fire-flingers. At the word of com- 
mand they started forward, their drivers ordering them to 
coil their trunks so that the sabres of the Mamelukes could 
not reach them. 

The Syrians fled before them, and were crushed under 
foot ; others were hurled forty or fifty feet into the air ; the 
defeat being complete, and chiefly due to the elephants. 

Timour's curious experiment of adopting elephants in war- 
fare, after he had witnessed their demoralization, was not 
without precedent, as Kublai Khan and Alexander did the 
same. Marco Polo gives a clear idea of the way elephants 
were used in battle : — 

*' It happened, that, in the year 1272, the Grand Khan sent 
an army into the countries of Vochang and Karazan, for their 
protection and defence against any attack that foreigners 
might attempt to make. . . . When the King of Mien and 
Bangala in India, who was powerful in the number of his 
subjects, in extent of territory, and in wealth, heard that an 
army of Tartars had arrived at Vochang, he took the resolu- 
tion of advancing immediately to attack it, in order that by 
its destruction the Grand Khan should be deterred from again 
attempting to station a force upon the borders of his domin- 
ions. For this purpose he assembled a very large army, in- 
cluding a multitude of elephants (an animal with which his 
country abounds), upon whose backs were placed battle- 
ments, or castles, of wood, capable of containing the number of 
from twelve to sixteen in each. With these, and a numerous 
army of horse and foot, he took the road to Vochang, where 


the Grand Khan's army lay, and, encamping at no great dis- 
tance from it, intended to give his troops a few days of rest. 
The King of Mien, learning that the Tartars had descended 
into the plain, immediately put his army in motion, took up 
his ground at the distance of about a mile from the enemy, 
and made a disposition of his force, placing the elephants in 
the front, and the cavalry and infantry in two extended 
wings in their rear, but leaving between them a considerable 
interval. Here he took his own station, and proceeded to 
animate his men, and encouraging them to fight valiantly, 
assuring them of victory, as well from the superiority of 
their numbers, being four to one, as from their formidable 
body of armed elephants, whose shock the enemy, who had 
never before been engaged with such combatants, could by 
no means resist. Then, giving orders for sounding a prodi- 
gious number of warlike instruments, he advanced boldly with 
his whole army towards that of the Tartars, which remained 
firm, making no movement, but suffering them to approach 
their intrenchments. They then rushed out with great 
spirit and the utmost eagerness to engage ; but it was soon 
found that the Tartar horses, unused to the sight of such 
huge animals, with their castles, were terrified, and, wheeling 
about, endeavored to fly, nor could their riders by any exer- 
tions restrain them ; whilst the king, with the whole of his 
forces, was every moment gaining ground. As soon as the 
prudent commander perceived this unexpected disorder, 
without losing his presence of mind, he instantly adopted 
the measure of ordering Ills men to dismount, and their 
horses to be taken into the wood, where they were fastened 
to the trees. Being dismounted, the men, without loss of 
time, advanced on foot towards t]\e line of elephants, and 


commenced a brisk discharge of arrows : whilst, on the other 
side, those who were stationed in the castles, and the rest 
of the king's army, shot volleys in return, with great activ- 
ity ; but their arrows did not make the same impression as 
those of the Tartars, whose bows were drawn with a stronger 
arm. So incessant were the discharges of the latter, and all 
their weapons (according to the instructions of their com- 
mander) being directed against the elephants, these were 
soon covered with arrows, and, suddenly giving way, fell 
back upon their own people in the rear, who were thereby 
thrown into confusion. It soon became impossible for their 
drive "S to manage them, either by force or address. Smart- 
ing under the pain of their wounds, and terrified by the 
shouting of the assailants, they were no longer governable, 
but, without guidance or control, ran about in all directions, 
until at length, impelled by rage and fear, they rushed into 
a part of the wood not occupied by the Tartars. The conse- 
quence of this was, that, from the closeness of the branches 
of large trees, they broke, with loud crashes, the battlements, 
or castles, that were upon their backs, and involved in the 
destruction those who sat upon them. Upon seeing the 
rout of the elephants, the Tartars acquired fresh courage; 
and filing off by detachments, with perfect order and regu- 
larity, they remounted their horses, and joined their several 
divisions, when a sanguinary and dreadful combat was re- 
newed. The battle ended in a complete victory." 

Perhaps the most remarkable displays of elephants were 
those of Kublai Khan. In an old cut before T.e, he is 
shown as he appeared on his elephants, after he had con- 
quered his unfortunate relative, Nazam, and smothered him 
between two carpets. He is represented in a large wooden 


castle, which rests upon four large tuskers, whose bodies, 
according to Dow, were protected with coverings of thick 
leather hardened by fire, over which were housings of cloth 
of gold. The castle contained many crossbow men and 
archers ; and on the top of it was hoisted the imperial stand- 
ard, adorned with representations of the sun and moon. 

In his invasions into Hindostan, in the eleventh century, 
Mamood of Ghizni employed a magnificent army of thirteen 
hundred elephants. Dow thus describes his battle with the 
King of Kaslegar : — 

"Mamood, perceiving the enemy's progress, leaped from 
his horse, and, kissing the ground, invoked the aid of the 
Almighty. He instantly mounted an elephant-of-war, en- 
couraged his troops, and made a violent assault upon Elieh. 
The elephant, seizing the standard-bearer of the enemy, folded 
round him his trunk, and tossed him aloft into the sky. He 
then pressed forward like a mountain removed from its place 
by an earthquake, and trod the enemy like locusts under his 
feet. When Mamood invested Callinger, the rajah of that 
city sued for peace, and offered him three thousand elephants 
and other presents. The Indian prince probably considered 
that his enemy might be unacquainted with the habits of the 
animal ; and he, therefore, ventured upon an experiment, not 
very likely to conciliate the rough hero of Turquestan. The 
king (Mamood) agreed to the terms proposed; and the raja, 
to try the bravery of the sultan's troops, intoxicated the ele- 
phants with certain drugs, and let them loose, without riders, 
in the camp. Mamood, seeing the animals advancing, per- 
ceived the trick, by the wildness of their motions, and imme- 
diately ordered a party of his best horse to seize, kill, and 
drive them from the camp. Some of the Turks, emulous to 


display their bravery in the presence of their king and of both 
armies, mounted the greatest part of the elephants, and drove 
the rest into an adjacent wood, where they were soon reduced 
to obedience." 

In the Book of Maccabees, there is an interesting passage 
describing the armor of elephants, and their use in the wars 
of Asia after the conquest of India : — 

" To the end they might provoke the elephants to fight, 
they shewed them the blood of grapes and mulberries. 
Moreover, they divided the beasts among the armies, and for 
every elephant they appointed a thousand men, armed with 
coats of mail, and with helmets of brass on their heads ; and 
beside this, for every beast were ordered five hundred horse- 
men of the best. These were ready at every occasion : 
wheresoever the beast was, and whithersoever the beast 
went, they went also, neither departed they from him. And 
upon the beasts were there strong towers of wood, which 
covered every one of them, and were girt fast unto them with 
devices : there were also upon every one thirty-two strong 
men, that fought upon him, beside the Indian that ruled 

These are but a few selections from many, showing the 
importance of the elephant in comparatively modern times. 
And when we remember Avhat an imposing appearance 
twenty elephants, the largest number ever seen in America 
together, make, we can imagine the scene when over a thou- 
sand of these huge beasts were arranged in line, each clad in 
armor, and bearing armed warriors. 




THE earliest mention of Avar elephants is made by Cte- 
sias, where he describes Cyrus as making war against 
King AmoraBiis, who placed a large number of elephants in 
ambush, putting the horses of Cyrus to flight. iElian quotes 
Ctesias as saying that the king of the Indians went to war 
with an army of ten thousand elephants, which was un- 
doubtedly an exaggeration. 

In olden times, elephants seemed to be a necessity, and 
would-be conquerors were often put to some remarkable 
straits to procure them. Perhaps the most amusing substi- 
tution was that adopted by Queen Semiramis, who made 
mock elephants out of hides, and put camels within them, 
with what laughable results Diodorus Siculus shall tell us. 
The story is so quaint, and replete with curious situations, 
that I give it complete in the language of the old historian : — 

u Semiramis, having settled her affairs in Egypt and Ethio- 
pia, returned with her army into Asia to Bactria ; and now 
having a great army, and enjoying a long peace, she had 
a longing desire to perform some notable exploit by her 
arms. Hearing, therefore, that the Indians were the greatest 
nation in the whole world, and had the largest and richest 


tract of land of all others, she resolved to make war upon 

" Stabrobates was at that time king, who had innumerable 
forces, and many elephants, bravely accoutred, and fitted to 
strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. For India, for 
the pleasantness of the country, excelled all others ; being 
watered in every place with many rivers, so that the land 
yielded every year a double crop ; and by that means was 
so rich, and so abounded with plenty of all things necessary 
for the sustenance of man's life, that it supplied the inhab- 
itants continually with such things as made them excessively 
rich, insomuch that it was never known that there was ever 
any famine amongst them, the climate being so happy and 
favorable ; and upon that account, likewise, there is an in- 
credible number of elephants, which for courage, and strength 
of body, far excel those in Africa. Moreover, this country 
abounds in gold, silver, brass, iron, and precious stones of 
all sorts, both for profit and pleasure. All of which being 
noised abroad, so stirred up the spirit of Semiramis, that 
(though she had no provocation given her) yet she was 
resolved upon the war against the Indians. But knowing 
that she had need of great forces, she sent despatches to all 
the provinces, with command to the governors to list the 
choicest young men they could find ; ordering the proportion 
of soldiers every province and country should send forth, 
according to the largeness of it; and commanded that all 
should furnish themselves with new armor and arms, and 
all appear in three years' time at a general rendezvous in 
Bactria, bravely armed and accoutred in all points. And 
having sent for shipwrights out of Phoenicia, Syria, Cyprus, 
and other places bordering upon the seacoasts, she prepared 


timber for them fit for the purpose, and ordered them to 
build vessels, that might be taken asunder, and conveyed 
from place to place whenever she pleased. For the river 
Indus bordering upon that kingdom, being the greatest in 
those parts, she stood in need of many river-boats to pass 
it, in order to repress the Indians. But being there was no 
timber near that river, she was necessitated to convey the 
boats thither by land from Bactria. She further considered, 
that she was much inferior to the Indians in elephants (which 
were absolutely necessary for her to make use of) : she there- 
fore contrived to have beasts that should resemble them, 
hoping by this means to strike a terror into the Indians, 
who believed that there were no elephants in any place but 
in India. To this end, she provided three hundred thousand 
black oxen, and distributed the flesh amongst a company of 
ordinary mechanics, and such fellows as she had to play the 
cobblers for her, and ordered them, by stitching the skins 
together, and stuffing them with straw, to imitate the shape 
of an elephant ; and in every one of them she put a man to 
govern them, and a camel to carry them, so that at a distance 
they appeared to all that saw them, as if they were really 
such beasts. 

" They that were employed in this work, wrought at it 
night and day, in a place which was walled round for the 
purpose, and guards set at every gate, that none might be 
admitted either to go in or out, to the end that none might 
see what they were doing, lest it should be noised abroad, 
and come to the ears of the Indians. 

" Having therefore provided shipping and elephants in the 
space of two years, in the third she rendezvoused all her 
forces in Bactria. Her army consisted (as Ctesias says) 


of three millions of foot, two hundred thousand horse, a 
hundred thousand chariots, and a hundred thousand men, 
mounted upon camels, with swords four cubits long. The 
boats that might be taken asunder, were two thousand ; 
which the camels carried by land as they did the mock- 
elephants, as we have before declared. The soldiers made 
their horses familiar with these feigned beasts, by bringing 
them often to them, lest they should be terrified at the sight 
of them ; which Perseus imitated many ages after, when he 
was to fight with the Romans, who had elephants in their 
army out of Africa. However, this contrivance proved to 
be of no advantage, either to him or her, as will appear in 
issue herein a little after related. 

" When Stabrobates, the Indian king, heard of these great 
armies, and the mighty preparations made against him, he 
did all he could to excel Semiramis in every tiling. And 
first, he built of great canes four thousand river-boats, for 
abundance of these canes grow in India about the rivers; and 
ferns, so thick as a man can scarce fathom ; and vessels made 
of these reeds (they say) are exceeding useful, because they 
will never rot or be worm-eaten. 

" He was very diligent, likewise, in preparing of arms, 
and going from place to place throughout all India, and so 
raised a far greater army than that of Semiramis. To his 
former number of elephants he added more, which he took 
by hunting, and furnished them all with every thing that 
might make them look terrible in the face of their enemies ; 
so that, by their multitude and the completeness of their 
armor in all points, it seemed above the strength and power 
of man to bear up against the violent shock of these crea- 









" Having, therefore, made all these preparations, he sent 
ambassadors to Semiramis (as she was on her march towards 
him), to complain and upbraid her for beginning a war with- 
out any provocation or injury offered her ; and by his private 
letters, taxed her with a dissolute course of life ; and vowed 
(calling the gods to witness), that, if he conquered her, he 
would nail her to the cross. When she read the letter, she 
smiled, and said the Indian should presently have a trial of 
her valor by her actions. When she came up with her army 
to the river Indus, she found the enemy's fleet drawn up in 
a line of battle ; whereupon she forthwith drew up her 
own, and, having manned it with the stoutest soldiers, joined 
battle, yet so ordering the matter as to have her land-forces 
ready upon the shore, to be assisting as there should be oc- 
casion. After a long and sharp fight, with marks of valor 
on both sides, Semiramis was at length victorious, and sunk 
a thousand of the enemy's, vessels,, and took a great number 
of prisoners. Puffed up with this success, she took in the 
cities and islands that lay in the river, and carried away an 
hundred thousand captives. After this, the Indian king 
drew off his army (as if he fled for fear), but in truth to 
decoy his enemies to pass the river. Semiramis, therefore 
(seeing all things fall out according to her wish), laid a broad 
bridge of boats (at a vast charge) over the river, and thereby 
passed over all her forces, leaving only threescore thousand 
to guard the bridge, and with the rest of her army pursued 
the Indians. She placed the mock-elephants in the front, 
that the enemy's scouts might presently inform the king 
what multitudes of elephants she had in her army : and she 
was not deceived in her hopes ; for when the spies gave an 
account to the Indians what a great multitude of these crea- 


tures were advancing towards them, they were all in amaze, 
inquiring among themse ves, whence the Assyrians should 
be supplied with such a vast number of elephants : but the 
cheat could not long be concealed ; for some of Semiramis's 
soldiers, being laid by the heels for their carelessness upon 
the guard (through fear of further punishment), made their 
escape, and fled to the enemy, and undeceived them as to 
the elephants ; upon which the Indian king was mightily 
encouraged, and caused notice of the delusion to be spread 
through the whole army, and then, forthwith, marched with 
all force against the Assyrians ; Semiramis, on the other 
hand, doing the like When they approached near one to 
another, Stabrobates, the Indian king, placed his horse and 
chariots in the vanguard, at a good distance before the main 
body of his army. The queen, having placed her mock-ele- 
phants at the like distance from her main body, valiantly 
received her enemy's charge: but the Indian horse were 
most strangely t rr'-fied ; for in regard, the phantasms at 
a distance seemed to be real elephants, the horses of the 
Indians (being inured to these creatures) pressed boldly and 
undauntedly forward ; but when they came near, and saw 
another sort of beast than usual, and the smell and every 
thing else almost being strange and new to them, they broke 
in with great terror and confusion, one upon another, so that 
they cast some of their riders headlong to the ground, and 
ran away with others (as the lot happened) into the midst 
of their enemies ; whereupon Semiramis, readily making use 
of her advantage, with a body of choice men, fell in upon 
them, and routed them, forcing them back to their main 
body : and though Stabrobates was something astonished at ■ 
this unexpected defeat, yet he brought up his foot against 


the enemy, with his elephants in the front ; he himself was 
m the right wing, mounted upon a stately elephant, and 
made a fierce charge upon the queen herself, who happened 
ihen to be opposite to him in the left. And though the 
mock-elephants in Semiramis's army did the like, yet they 
stood the violent shock of the other but a little while : for 
the Indian beasts, being both exceeding strong and stout, 
easily bore down and destroyed all that opposed them, so 
that there was a great slaughter ; for some they trampled 
under foot, others they rent in pieces with their teeth, and 
tossed up others with their trunks into the air. The ground, 
therefore, being covered with heaps of dead carcasses, and 
nothing but death and destruction to be seen on every hand, 
so that all were full of horror and amazement, none durst 
keep their order or ranks any longer. Upon which the 
whole Assyrian army fled outright : and the Indian king 
encountered with Semiramis, and first wounded her with an 
arrow in the arm, and afterwards with a dart (in wheeling 
about) in the shoulder ; whereupon the queen (her wounds 
not being mortal) fled, and by the swiftness of her horse 
(which far exceeded the other that pursued her), she got 

Curiously enough, in early times the camel was used in 
Persia, instead of the elephant, to carry burdens. The 
name of the elephant is not found in the Hebrew language ; 
but the Grecian and Roman poets made frequent mention 
of it one hundred years before the time of Alexander, so that 
he must have known something of the strange animal when 
he contemplated his Indian invasion. He first met them in 
the flesh, according to Arrian, in the battle of Arbela, where 
he defeated the king of Persia, who had a few in his armj r , 


which Alexander captured. Soon after this he was presented 
with a number which had been brought from India by Darius, 
and later the victorious army of the great soldier captured a 
number on the banks of the Indus. It is known that Alex- 
ander was familiar with the advantages to be derived from 
elephants, but whether he added them immediately to his 
armj r is not known. One military writer, Polysemis, states 
that he did, and that a fine battalion of elephants was placed 
upon the left wing of the Macedonian army. But, on the 
other hand, Alexander said, according to Quintus Curtius, 
" I have so despised those animals, that, when I had them at 
my command, I did not employ them." Alexander is pic- 
tured on a medal, a cut of which was published in the " Mu- 
seum Cuspinianum," edited by Laurentius Legatus, as riding 
in a chariot drawn by elephants when entering Babylon. 

When Alexander passed the Indus, he met the army of 
King Poms with a large force of elephants. " There," writes 
Quintus Curtius, "stood those huge bulks of overgrown 
bodies, the elephants ; which, being on purpose provoked, 
filled the air with a horrible noise." " The river had to be 
passed with boats ; and the great danger to be apprehended 
was, that the horses of the Greeks, upon perceiving the ele- 
phants, would be seized with fear, and leap into the water. 
For several days the Macedonians and the Indians lay en- 
camped on the opposite banks of the river, the one effecting 
to attempt the passage by stratagem, the other constantly 
resisting the attempt with the terror of the elephants. Porus, 
however, relaxing in his watchfulness, and being deceived by 
a division of a part of the army of Alexander, the great body 
of the Macedonians Avere safely conveyed across. But the 
Indian king was resolved not to yield up his dominions with- 


out a struggle. " He drew up his army in order of battle," 
says Arrian, upon " a plain where the soil was not incom- 
modious by reason of the slippery clay, but firm and sandy, 
and every way fit wheeling his chariots round upon. First, 
he placed the elephants in the front, at the distance of one 
hundred feet from each other, to cover the whole body of 
foot, and at the same time to strike a terror into Alexander's 
horse ; for he imagined that none, either horse or foot, 
would be so hardy as to endeavor to penetrate through the 
spaces between the elephants. The horsemen, he thought, 
could not, because their horses would be terrified at the 
sight; and the foot would not dare, because the armed soldiers 
would be ready to gall them on each hand, and the elephants 
to trample them under their feet. The foot possessed the 
next rank. They were not, indeed, placed in the same order 
with the elephants, but so small a wa}^ behind that they 
seemed to fill up the interstices. At the extremities of 
each wing he placed elephants bearing huge wooden towers, 
wherein were armed men. The foot were defended on each 
hand by the horse, and the horse by the chariots, which were 
placed before them." 

" With the caution which is the best characteristic of a skil- 
ful general, Alexander resolved to avoid a direct attack upon 
the main body of the elephants. Perhaps the alarm which 
his soldiers are described to have felt at ' those beasts, which, 
being disposed amongst the men in front, at a distance bore 
the appearance of towers,' might have somewhat influenced 
this determination. The elephant which carried Porus him- 
self, a man of extraordinary stature, was greatly superior to 
all the lest in height. Alexander is described as rejoicing in 
the splendid appearance of the enemy which he trusted to 


subdue. ' At last I have met with a danger suitable to the 
greatness of my soul.' The long pikes of the Macedonian 
phalanx, the rapid movements of the cavalry, and the cloud 
of arrows poured in by the light-armed Thracians, soon spread 
a panic amongst the Indians. But the elephants for a long 
time sustained the assaults of their impetuous enemies. 
They trampled the infantry under their feet ; and ' the most 
dismal thing of all was when these animals took up the armed 
soldiers with their trunks, and delivered them up to their 
governors on their backs.' The day was far spent, and still 
the fight was doubtful, till at length the Macedonians di- 
rected all their power against the sagacious beasts that threat- 
ened to baffle the skill and bravery of the most disciplined 
troops of the earth. The Greeks chopped their legs with 
axes, and cut off their trunks with a crooked weapon resem- 
bling a scythe. While the infantry of Alexander thus en- 
countered the principal strength of the Indians, his cavalry 
closed round them in overwhelming masses. '' And the beasts 
now being pent up in a narrow space, and violently enraged, 
did no less mischief to their own men than the enemy ; and 
as they tossed and moved about, multitudes were trampled to 
death ; besides, the horse being confined among the elephants, 
a huge slaughter ensued, for many of the governors of the 
beasts being slain by the archers, and the elephants them- 
selves, partly enraged with their wounds, and partly for 
want of riders, no longer kept any certain station in the 
battle, but running forwards, as if madness had seized them, 
they pushed down, slew, and trampled under foot friends 
and foes without distinction ; only, the Macedonians, having 
the advantage of a more free and open space, gave way, and 
made room for the furious beasts to rush through their ranks, 


but slew them whenever they attempted to return. But the 
beasts at last, quite wearied out with wounds and toil, were 
no longer able to push with their usual force, but only made 
a hideous noise, and, moving their fore-feet heavily, passed 
out of the battle.' 

"Although his forces were scattered all around him, the 
courage of the Indian king remained unconquerable. Ex- 
posed ' as a mark at which every one levelled,' he had re- 
ceived nine wounds, before and behind ; but he still continued 
to hurl his javelins at the enemy, till they might be said ' to 
drop from his faint arm, rather than be delivered.' The gov- 
ernor of Porus's elephant at last put the beast to flight, and 
Alexander himself slowly followed him upon a wounded 
aorse. At length Porus, exhausted by his wounds, slid 
'lown from the back of the elephant ; and the Indian guide, 
thinking the king desired to alight, commanded the animal 
to kneel down. The whole of the elephants were accustomed 
to imitate the movements of that upon which the king rode ; 
md in like manner they instantly knelt down, and thus 
became a prey to the conquerors. Their habitual obedience 
to their masters involved their common ruin." 

An interesting medal is known to antiquarians, which is 
supposed to commemorate this victory of Alexander over 
Porus. On one side is shown the head of Alexander, covered 
with an elephant's head-skin, and on the other a representa- 
tion of Minerva, armed with a helmet, shield, and spear, and 
oefore her an eagle holding lightning in its talons. Whether 
Alexander used the elephants he captured, or not, is not 
.known ; but he preserved them, and created a new office, — 
the elephant arch, or governor of the elephants, whose busi- 
ness it was to take entire charge of them. At the death of 


Alexander, great numbers of elephants were owned by the 
Macedonians ; and his successors, who had, perhaps, more 
faith in them for purposes of war, often used them in many 
of the sanguinary engagements of their time. 

Many of the elephants of King Porus were afterwards em- 
ployed by Eumenes ; and, in his fiercely contested battle with 
Antigonus, elephants were used on both sides. In the attack 
made upon the city of Megapolis by Polysperchon, the latter 
employed sixty-five elephants which were considered in- 
vincible ; but the foot-soldiers of the other army stole out, 
and built ditches in front of them, placing upright spears 
and spikes in them, and covering all with grass and leaves. 
When the elephants and the army charged, the great animals 
fell into the traps, and during the confusion the entire force 
was routed. 

In those times the expense of keeping elephants was enor- 
mous, and oftentimes the animals suffered greatly. At the 
siege of Pydua, in Macedonia, the elephants were obliged to 
eat sawdust ; and many died, or, as Diodorus Siculus says, 
" pined away for want of food." In the histories of the wars 
that were waged between the generals of Alexander and 
Ptolemy, elephants are often mentioned, and were evidently 
relied upon more than any branch of the service. Diodorus 
Siculus says, when Perdiccas marched to the Nile, and as- 
saulted the fort called the " Camel's Wall," he "boldly led 
up his army close to the fort, and forthwith the targeteers 
with their ladders mounted the wall ; and those that rode 
upon elephants threw down the fortifications, and demolished 
the bulwarks. Whereupon Ptolemy, with those of his own 
guard about him, to encourage the rest of his officers and 
friends manfully to behave themselves, catched hold of a 


sarissa, and mounted the bulwark ; and so, being on the 
higher ground, struck out the eyes of the foremost elephant, 
and wounded the Indian that sat upon him ; and as for 
those that scaled the walls, he hurled them down, dreadfully 
cut and wounded, into the river. After his example, Ptol- 
emy's friends valiantly exerted themselves ; and, by killing 
the Indian that governed the next elephant, the beast became 
unserviceable." "When Ptolemy and Seleucus attacked De- 
metrius at Gaza, their first care was to protect their army 
from the shock of the elephants of their enemy ; and for this 
purpose they prepared " an iron palisado, sharp-pointed with 
iron, and fastened together with chains." That this precau- 
tion was not taken in vain, the same author shows in the 
following : " And now, when the fight between the horse 
had been a long time doubtful, the elephants, forced on by 
the Indians, made so terrible an onset that it appeared im- 
possible for any force to have stood against them. But when 
they came up to the palisado, the darters 'and archers sorely 
galled both the beasts and their riders ; and being still forced 
on, and whipt by the Indians, some of them stuck upon the 
sharp points of the palisado, with which, besides the multi- 
tude of the darts and arrows that galled them, they were in 
such pain and torment that they caused a horrible tumult and 
confusion : for these creatures, in plain and level places, bear 
down all before them ; but in those which are rough and 
craggy, they are of no use or service, because of the tender- 
ness of their feet. Ptolemy, therefore, wisely foreseeing of 
what advantage this palisado would be, by that means frus- 
trated the rage and fury of the beasts. At length, most of 
the Indians that rode them being killed, all the elephants 
were taken, upon which the greatest part of Demetrius's 


horse were in such a consternation that they forthwith 

Where elephants created so much confusion and demorali- 
zation, it was but natural that the great generals should 
invent mechanical devices to rout them in turn, and create 
disorder ; and we read that Ptolemy was often successful. 
Yet he fully appreciated the value of the elephants ; and, 
after meeting them in several engagements, he determined to 
possess an elephant army of his own. The enemy obtained 
their elephants from India ; and, although the African ele- 
phants were not considered so well fitted for war purposes, 
he decided to secure his recruits from the Dark Continent. 
He immediately issued an edict prohibiting their slaughter, 
and ordered that they be captured alive. Exactly where 
these great creatures were obtained would be interesting to 
know, but' Ptolemy's historians do not tell us. Ptolemy III. 
has left an inscription called adulis, found in the travels of 
Cosmas, a traveller of the sixth century, to the effect that 
the elephants were obtained from Etliiopia, and the country 
of the Troglodytes. 

The famous battle of Raphia, between Ptolemy Philopator, 
the fourth of the dynasty, and Antiochus the Great, in which 
numbers of elephants were employed, is thus described by 
Polybius : " The signal was sounded to engage ; and the ele- 
phants, approaching first, began the combat. Among those 
that belonged to Ptolemy, there were some that advanced 
boldly against their adversaries. It was then pleasing to 
behold the soldiers engaged in close combat from the towers, 
and pushing against each other with their spears. But the 
beasts themselves afforded a far nobler spectacle, as they 
rushed together, front to front, with the greatest force and 







fury. For this is the manner in which they fight. Twisting 
their trunks together, they strive, each of them with his 
utmost force, to maintain his own ground, and to move his 
adversary from his place ; and when the strongest of them 
has at last pushed aside the trunk of the other, and forced 
him to turn his flank, he then pierces him with his tusks in 
the same manner as bulls in fighting wound each other with 
their horns. But the greater part of the beasts that belonged 
to Ptolemy declined the combat. For this usually happens 
to the elephants of Afric, which are unable to support either 
the smell or cry of the Indian elephants. Or rather, perhaps, 
they are struck with terror at the view of their enormous size 
and strength ; since even before they approach near together, 
they frequently turn their backs, and fly. And this it was 
which at this time happened. As soon, therefore, as these 
animals, being thus disordered by their fears, had fallen 
against the ranks of their own army, and forced the royal 
guards to break the line, Antiochus, seizing the occasion, 
and advancing round on the outside of the elephants, charged 
the cavalry, which was commanded by Polycrates, in the 
extremity of the left wing of Ptolemy. At the same time, 
also, the Grecian mercenaries, who stood within the ele- 
phants, near the phalanx, advanced with fury against the 
peltastffi, and routed them with little difficulty, because 
their ranks, likewise, were -already broken by the elephants. 
Thus the whole left wing of the army of Ptolemy was 
defeated, and forced to fly." 

One hundred and fifty years after this, a successor of 
Antiochus employed elephants in battles against the Jews ; 
and nearly all the monarchs who succeeded Alexander em- 
ployed them in war. They were used in Syria ; and Seleu- 


cus Nicator valued them so highly, that, according to Strabo, 
he gave Sandrocottus an entire province on the Indus for 
five hundred of the animals. They were stabled at Apamea, 
in Syria ; so that elephants commanded a high price, even 
in these early times. Two centuries later, when Syria and 
various Eastern countries became tributary to Rome, the war 
elephant fell into disuse ; and one of the last references to it 
in Syria is found on a coin struck in honor of Antiochus, 
surnamed Epiphanes Dionysius, who succeeded to the throne 
in the two hundred and twenty-fifth era of the Seleucidse 
(87 B.C.). It represents an elephant bearing a torch, after 
the custom of Syrian monarchs ; a horn of plenty being shown 
behind it. (See Plates XXL, XXII.) 




THE war elephant was a feature of the armies of the On 
ent many years before it was known in Italy. We have 
seen that the huge animal was especially effective in spread- 
ing terror among the opposing hosts, from its gigantic size 
and peculiar form : and nations that had never heard of, nor 
seen, an elephant, were so demoralized at the sight, that they 
often fled without giving battle ; their horses and other ani- 
mals, equally alarmed, completing the rout and confusion 
The Romans were no exception to this ; and, with all theii 
valor and courage, they quailed before the astonishing arra\ 
of monsters — for so they considered them — that King Pyr 
rhus of Epirus brought upon the field in the reign of Hera 
clear (280 B.C.). His elephant detachment was a small one, 
being composed of twenty animals, which bore upon their 
backs tall wooden towers filled with armed bowmen. The 
Romans soon rallied, however; but their defeat, according to 
Floras, was directly due to the terror inspired by the ele- 
phants. When Fabricus went to Epirus to negotiate with 
Pyrrhus for an exchange of prisoners, the latter endeavored 
to bribe him, and then to frighten him, by producing one of 
the largest of his elephants. But the old Roman replied on 


leaving, " Neither your gold yesterday, nor your beast to-day, 
has made any impression upon me." 

Four years later the Romans had become perfectly famil- 
iar with elephant warfare ; and Curius Dentalus organized his 
men especially to demoralize the elephants, ordering them 
to attack the animals with burning torches in one hand, and 
sharp swords in the other. This plan was successful, and 
was aided by an unforeseen accident. An elephant calf ac- 
companied its mother upon the field of battle ; and, becoming 
wounded early in the fight, its roars so enraged its mother, 
and demoralized the others, that they charged, and threw the 
troops of Pyrrhus into complete disorder. They were finally 
captured by the Romans, and four led in triumph to Rome, 
— the first ever taken there. 

To show what vague notions of the elephant the Romans 
had, they called the great creatures Lucanian oxen ; and, ac- 
cording to Pliny, the Roman writers, in general, gave them 
this name, probably because they first saw them in Lucania. 

King Pyrrhus was extremely unfortunate in the manage^ 
ment of his elephants. At the siege of Argos, when his men 
had battered in the gates of the town, the mahouts lost com 
trol of the beasts in the excitement, and they attempted to 
rush through the low gates ; but the tall towers struck them, 
and forced them back in great disorder, and many of their 
own soldiers and masters were trampled under foot, and 
killed. In describing this event, Plutarch relates that one 
of the elephants exhibited remarkable courage and affection 
for its rider; keeping a large number of enemies at bay when 
its master was dismounted, finally taking him in its trunk, 
and removing him to a place of safety. The animal doubt- 
less received some instruction from its master. 


The old writers were fond of accrediting to the elephant 
many more virtues, courage, generosity, and self-sacrifice, 
than they seem to possess to-day ; and, undoubtedly, they 
often gave the animals credit for spontaneous actions, when 
they were really obeying a command of their mahout, or 
driver. I have referred particularly to this and the opinions 
of Sanderson in the chapter devoted to the intelligence of the 
elephant. Plutarch and iElian both record the story of 
an elephant of Poms that drew darts from its master's body. 
Such may have been the case ; but I think, if true, it was at 
the direct order of Poms, and not actuated by compassion, 
as the old authors would have us believe. 

It was fortunate that the Romans had acquired some ex- 
perience with Asiatic elephants, as, soon after, they became 
involved in a series of wars in which the enemy employed 
large numbers of African elephants. Their familiarity with 
the Asiatic elephants did not always avail them. In the 
first Punic war, Regulus, the Roman consul, the Buonaparte 
of his time, captured a division of eighteen elephants in the 
battle of Adis ; but on another occasion, Xantippus, the 
Lacedemonian, the general of the Carthaginian troops, used 
his elephant batteries, as we may call them, so judiciously, 
and with such marked skill, that the Romans were utterly 
routed. The elephants, under direction of their enraged 
riders, and infuriated themselves by their wounds, charged 
into the fleeing Romans, trampling them under foot, tossing 
them high in air, and goring them with their tusks; com- 
mitting such frightful carnage, that for a long time the 
Romans dreaded to meet them. 

The Carthaginians not only fought with elephants on their 
own soil, but they carried them into Sicily. At the siege of 


Panormus (Palermo), they employed one hundred and forty 
African elephants in a solid phalanx, a most impressive sight, 
and moved upon the city. But the Romans fired at them 
with darts from the city-walls, and turned the huge animals 
upon their own men. Then taking advantage of the confu- 
sion, Metellus, the Roman consul, who was in command, led 
his troops upon the Carthaginians, and utterly routed them, 
and captured one hundred or more of their finest war 

Such a victory offered a rare opportunity to Metellus to 
exhibit his prowess and the spoils to his countrymen : so he 
commanded that an immense raft be built, composed of 
empty barrels covered with planks, and in turn packed with 
earth ; and upon this the elephants were floated over the 
straits to Rhegium (Reggio). For some time the Romans 
kept the noble creatures on exhibition, and treated them 
with great indignity, driving them about the circus with 
blunted spears ; all of which was undoubtedly done to con- 
vince the people that the elephant was not the terrible beast 
he had been pictured, and to erase from the public mind the 
terror they had inspired when Regulus was defeated. Again, 
it was the custom to parade captive kings before the popu- 
lace in chains, and treat them with great indignity; and the 
elephants probably came under this head. When the Roman 
citizens were surfeited with the display, it occurred to the 
state that a herd of animals that could devour seventy-two 
thousand pounds of green food in twenty-four hours was a 
great luxury ; and in a moment of economy, according to 
Verrius, who is cited by Pliny, the unfortunate captives were 

That the Romans overcame their fear of elephants did not 


prevent the Carthaginians from retaining them as an impor- 
tant branch of the service. Hannibal carried them into 
Spain ; and after the capture of Saguntum (218 B.C.), we 
hear of him sending to Africa for a new supply. 

In the second Punic war, which commenced about this 
time, Hannibal began operations on Roman soil with an army 
of fifteen thousand men, and, according to Appian and Eutro- 
pius, thirty-seven elephants. He crossed the Pyrenees, and 
the Rhone at Orange. Livy, Silius Italicus, and Polybius, 
all describe some of the events of this campaign ; but that of 
the latter is the most comprehensive and valuable, giving, 
evidently, a correct account of the management of war 
elephants at this time. The Greek historian says, — 

" Hannibal? having posted his cavalry as a reserve on the 
side towards the sea, commanded the infantry to begin their 
march, while himself waited to receive the elephants, and 
the men that were left with them on the other side of the 
river. The passage of the elephants was performed in the 
following manner : When they had made a sufficient number 
of floats, they joined two together, and fastened them strongly 
to the ground, upon the bank of the river. The breadth of 
both together was about fifty feet. To the extremity of these 
they fixed two more, which were extended over into the 
water ; and to prevent the whole from being loosened and 
carried down the river by the rapidity of the current, they 
secured the side that was turned against the stream, by strong 
cables, fastened to the trees along the bank. Having in this 
manner finished a kind of bridge, which was extended to the 
length of about two hundred feet, they then added to it two 
other floats of a much larger size, which were very firmly 
joined together, but were fastened in so slight a manner to 


the rest, that they might at any time be separated from them 
with little difficulty. A great number of floats were fixed 
to these last floats, by the help of which, the boats that were 
designed to tow them over might hold them firm against 
the violence of the stream, and carry them in safety with the 
elephants to the other side. They then spread a quantity 
of earth over all the floats, that their color and appearance 
might, as nearly as was possible, resemble the ground on 
shore. The elephants were usually very tractable upon land, 
and easy to be governed by their conductors, but were at 
all times under the greatest apprehensions whenever they 
approached the water. Upon this occasion, therefore, they 
took two female elephants, and led them first along the 
floats ; the rest readily followed ; but no sooner were they 
arrived upon the farthest floats, than, the ropes being cut 
which bound them to the rest, they were immediately towed 
away by the boats towards the other side. The elephants 
were seized with extreme dread, and moved from side to side 
in great fury and disorder. But when they saw that they 
were every way surrounded by the water, their very fears at 
last constrained them to remain quiet in their place. In this 
manner, two other floats being from time to time prepared 
and fitted to the rest, the greater part of the elephants were 
carried safely over. There were some, indeed, that were so 
much disordered by their fears, that they threw themselves 
into the river in the midst of their passage. This accident 
was fatal to the conductors, who perished in the stream : but 
the beasts themselves, exerting all their strength, and raising 
their large trunks above the surface of the river, were by 
that means enabled not only to breathe freely, but to dis- 
charge the waters also, as fast as they received them ; and 


having, by long struggling, surmounted likewise the rapidity 
of the stream, they at last all gained the opposite bank in 

Hannibal's march along the bank of the Isere, in his ap- 
proach to the famous pass of the Little St. Bernard, was at- 
tended by many dangers. The natives mounted the sides of 
the high passes, and hurled huge rocks and bowlders down 
upon the elephants and men. But everywhere the strange 
beasts produced the greatest terror ; and, as they approached 
the Alps, forces that had gathered to oppose them fled at the 
sight of them. The march was accomplished in fifteen days, 
at an enormous loss, the passes being strewn with men and 


" Great was the tumult there, 

Deafening the din, when, in barbaric pomp, 

The Carthaginian, on his march to Rome, 

Entered their fastnesses. Trampling the snows, 

The war-horse reared, and the towered elephant 

Upturned his trunk into the murky sky, 

Then tumbled headlong, swallowed up and lost, 

He and his rider." 

Rogeks's Italy. 

Many elephants were lost in the mountain passes, but 
enough were saved to make a formidable appearance in 
the battles of Ticinus and Trebia. How so many were 
taken over, considering the nature of the Alpine passes, 
is somewhat astonishing ; and it is stated by Livy, that 
in some places the elephants of Macedon were delayed 
while special bridges were constructed for them to cross. 
Hannibal, on the other hand, pushed through with the 
energy that characterized all his movements ; and the pas- 
sage of his army and elephants through the Alps is one 


of the most remarkable feats in military history, ancient 
or modern. 

Ancient history contains interesting accounts of the bat- 
tles in which the elephant took part.. Livy says that the 
Gauls, who were the allies of the Romans, fled before them. 
According to Appian, the Roman horse were alarmed at the 
sight and smell of the strange animals ; and Silius Italicus 
gives the elephant of Hannibal full credit for all his vic- 
tories. The poet of the Punic war thus, in characteristic 
language, describes a fight between an elephant and a Roman 

soldier : — _ 

" i or as 

The towered elephants attempt to pass, 

Into the flood with violence they fell 

(As when a rock, torn from its native hill 

By tempests, falls into the angry main) ; 

And Trebia, afraid to entertain 

Such monstrous bodies, flies before their beast, 

Or shrinks beneath them, with their weight oppressed. 

But as adversity man's courage tries, 

And fearless valor doth to honor rise 

Through danger, stout Fibrenus doth disclaim 

A death ignoble, or that wanted fame ; 

And cries, ' My fate shall be observed, nor shall 

Fortune beneath these waters hide my fall. 

I'll try if earth doth any living bear 

Which the Ansonian sword and Tyrrhen spear 

Cannot subdue and kill.' With that, he pressed 

His lance into the right eye of the beast, 

That, with blind rage, the penetrating blow 

Pursued ; and tossing up his mangled brow, 

Besmeared with reeking blood, with horrid cries 

Turns round, and from his fallen master flies ; 

Then with their darts and frequent arrows all 

Invade him, and now dare to hope his fall. 


His immense shoulders and his sides appear 
One wound entire ; his dusky back doth bear 
Innumerable shafts, that, like a wood, 
Still waving as he moved, upon him stood ; 
Till, in so long a fight, their weapons all 
Consumed, he fell, death hasting through his fall." 

Stilus Itallcus, by Thomas Ross. 

After the battle of Trebia, the elephants were marched 
with the army, over the Apennines ; and Livy tells us that 
seven starved to death ; later, in passing the Arno, which 
was a raging torrent, numbers of men, elephants, and horses 
were swept away, the only elephant left being the one the 
great general himself rode. 

Previous to this, in crossing the Po, Hannibal had ar- 
ranged his elephants in a long line across the shallow river, 
to break the force of the stream by a living dam. Perdiccas 
did the same, in an unfortunate attempt to cross the Nile 
near Memphis ; but the waters of the Arno were too swift, 
and, notwithstanding the fact that elephants are fine swim- 
mers, they were carried away and drowned. Hannibal was 
not cast down by his misfortune, and immediately sent for 
a new supply of elephants from Carthage. At the battle of 
Cannse (216 B.C.),' the Roman forces attacked the elephants 
with torches, and succeeded in firing the towers upon their 
backs. This terrible scene is thus described by Silius Itali- 
cus: — 

"The yet prevailing Roman, to withstand 
The fury of these monsters, gives command 
That burning torches, wheresoe'er they go, 
Should be opposed, and sulph'rous flames to throw 
Into their towers. This, with all speed, obeyed, 
The elephants they suddenly invade ; 


Whose smoking backs with flames collected shined, 
That, driven on by the tempestuous wind, 
Through their high bulwarks fire devouring spread. 
As when on Rhodope or Pindus' head 
A shepherd scatters fire, and through the groves 
And woods, like an hot plague, it raging moves, 
The leafy rocks are fired, and all the hills, 
Leaping, now here, now there, bright Vulcan fills. 
But when the burning sulphur once begun 
To parch their skins, th' unruly monsters run 
Like mad, and drive the cohorts from their stand : 
Neither durst any undertake at hand 
To fight them ; but their darts and javelins throw 
At distance- burning, they impatient grow, 
And, through the heat of their vast bodies, here 
And there, the flames increasing bear ; 
Till, by the smooth adjoining stream, at last 
Deceived, themselves into it they headlong cast, 
And with them all their flames, that still appear 
'Bove the tall banks, till, both together, there 
In the deep channel of the flood expire." 

Silius Italiciis, by Thomas Ross. 

It would seem that Hannibal was sometimes actuated by 
motives similar to those of our Indians of the West, who, in 
former days, sometimes offered to release prisoners of war, 
if they would defeat a number of warriors in a struggle. 
After the battle just referred to, he offered some Roman pris- 
oners their liberty if they could conquer the elephants. One 
of the Romans accepted the offer, and actually killed the 
elephant single-handed. But Hannibal broke his word, per- 
haps fearing, that, if such an instance was circulated among 
the Roman soldiers, they would lose their fear of the animals ; 
so he had the courageous Roman murdered. 


When the Carthaginians were before Capua, they had a 
strong foree of elephants, and we read of their obtaining 
re-enforcements from Carthage as early as 215 B.C. ; so that 
this city must have been a central depot of elephant supplies. 

The management of war elephants in Spain was mostly 
conducted by Asdrubal, who was in command of the Cartha- 
ginian forces in the absence of his brother. According to 
Livy, he was defeated in the famous fight between the two 
Scipios at Tortosa, but managed to save his elephants. In 
other battles, large numbers of these animals were killed and 
left upon the field. 

The effect of a panic among the war elephants was greatly 
dreaded by the generals who owned them ; and Asdrubal pro- 
vided his drivers with a knife and mallet, with instructions, 
if the elephant became unmanageable, to drive the knife 
between the junction of the head and spine. In the battle 
of Metaurus, this expedient was also employed. The 
Romans attacked them with such ferocity, that the elephants 
turned, and began trampling their own troops ; and, in obedi- 
ence to their instructions, the drivers slaughtered six while 
in their headlong flight, falling with them to the ground. 
This, however, did not prevent the utter rout of the forces ; 
and, in a frenzy of rage, Asdrubal threw himself single- 
handed at a battalion of the enemy, and fell, opposed by 

It is evident that in these days the range of the African 
elephant extended farther to the north ; and that they were 
much more abundant, is shown by some passages in the old 
works. Thus, when Scipio was about to invade Africa, the 
Carthaginians made great preparations to prevent his ad- 
vance ; and, according to Appian, a large number of ele- 


phants were taken in a short time, and trained for war. This 
could not have been done if they had to be sought at a great 
distance. They may have been found in Barbary, which 
would explain the ease with which re-enforcements were 
made in all these wars. 

When Scipio invaded Africa, Mago, the brother of Hanni- 
bal, proceeded against Italy with a new and magnificent 
army ; and the vast array of elephants he drew up before the 
Roman cavalry on the field of Insubria, is said to have been 
almost unequalled in the annals of ancient warfare. Not- 
withstanding this, the Romans were successful. Scipio was 
followed into Africa by Hannibal; and the two warriors, both 
equally famous, met on the field of Zama. Hannibal had 
eighty elephants in line, a formidable array; but Scipio, 
aware that his horses were useless, sent them to the rear, 
and ordered his archers to direct their arrows at the trunks 
of the elephants of the enemy. So vigorous was the assault, 
that the elephants, panic-stricken, turned, and in a moment 
were rushing wildly to the rear ; their trumpeting, and the 
cries of the dead and dying trampled under foot, producing 
an indescribable scene. The entire right wing of the Car- 
thaginian general was broken, and, utterly routed, he re- 
treated to Adrumetum ; the action of his own elephants 
bringing to a close the second Punic war (201 B.C.). A 
treaty of peace was now arranged ; and with due respect for 
the elephant, as an engine of war, the Romans bound the 
unfortunate Carthaginians to deliver up all their war ele- 
phants, and never tame others for military service. The 
elephants captured by Scipio were forwarded to Rome ; 
and in his triumphal procession to the Capitol, they followed 
the sacrificial victims. 


Curiously enough, for a period of eighty years after the 
Romans became familiar with the advantages of the elephant 
as a valuable adjunct to the service, they did not employ 
them. The warriors, however, were specially drilled in ele- 
phant warfare ; and many devices were invented by the skilful 
generals to discomfit the huge animals. The great object 
was to turn the elephants upon their own masters, as we 
have seen ; and to this end, the men were directed to fire their 
darts and arrows at the trunk of the elephant, which was 
known to be the most sensitive point. Chariots were con- 
structed to bear men who carried enormously long spears. 
The horses were clothed in mail, and trained to charge at 
the elephants at full speed ; and, as they passed, the spearmen 
would prod them in the trunk, and endeavor to demoralize 
them. This branch of the service was, necessarily, one of 
great danger, and the courageous lancers often lost their 
lives ; horses, chariots, and men, all being crushed to death 
by the infuriated animals. 

Another corps of elephant-men were armed with a peculiar 
armor, covered with long, sharp spikes, so that the elephant 
would not attempt to seize them with its trunk. Other sol- 
diers were armed with slings, with which they threw stones 
at the driver of the elephant, it being their sole business to 
dismount him ; while instruments that could propel their own 
darts were employed against the body of the elephant. 
Besides these offensive movements, the troops were drilled 
in the manner of receiving an elephant's charge. They exe- 
cuted manoeuvres in falling back as the animal came on, and 
in closing in to surround him. Such were a few of the 
methods employed against the elephant, which serve to 
show its importance in ancient warfare. 


Rome was finally forced to use the elephant herself; and 
in the first action of the Macedonian war, they formed no 
inconspicuous corps of the Roman army. 

In the third year of the war, according to Polybius, Titus 
Quintius Flaminius used them with signal advantage against 
the Macedonian king. In the second Macedonian war, thirty 
years later, Q. Martius Philippus employed them against 
Perseus, the last king of Macedon. The latter, unlike his 
predecessor, who conquered India, had neglected to provide 
himself with a corps of elephants ; and his horses were utterly 
demoralized by the animals possessed by his enemy. Find- 
ing that elephants were necessary to success, he conceived 
the idea of manufacturing some bogus ones, after the fashion 
of Semiramis, quoted in a previous chapter, and had a num- 
ber of wooden elephants made, in the interior of which was 
concealed a man, who blew upon a trumpet which led into 
the wooden throat, when the charge was ordered ; hoping in 
this way to imitate living elephants. But the ruse did not 
succeed ; and, after a war of four years, the Macedonians 
came under the Roman yoke. 

In some of these wars, it often happened that the African 
elephant was marched against its Asiatic ally. This was the 
case in the battle of Magnesia, when the Roman arms were 
turned against Antiochus, king of Syria ; and, according to 
the old writers, the African elephants of Scipio were much 
inferior in size and strength to the Indian ones of Antiochus. 
The reverse, at least regarding size, is true to-day ; and the 
same was probably true then, African male elephants being 
at least a foot taller than their Asiatic cousins. 

When Scipio found that his elephants were inferior, he 
placed them in his rear as a reserve ; but they were routed, 


only fifteen escaping: while fifteen thousand men were slain. 
The Romans utterly defeated them, and insisted upon the 
same terms which we have seen the Carthaginians made, — 
Antiochus agreeing to deliver all his war elephants to Rome, 
and to train no more. If both parties had kept their word, 
the elephant would have fallen into disuse as a war-factor. 

The Romans exacted a similar bond from Jugurtha (111 
B.C.) ; killing large numbers, and continuing the war until 
the Numiclian king consented, and delivered his elephants to 
Metellus (108 B.C.). 

Julius Caesar probably considered that elephants retarded 
active movements, and did not have a large corps of them ; 
though a certain number were kept, presumably to re-assure 
the soldiers, in case the enemy should be supplied with an 
elephant corps. In his battle with Scipio in Africa, he was 
confronted with thirty of these animals, having towers of 
archers; but he sent his elephants to the rear, and succeeded 
in defeating his enemy. 

Some idea of the manner in which elephants fought in 
battle is given by Csesar : — 

"A wounded elephant, furious with rage, attacked an 
unarmed follower of the troops, and, kneeling upon him, 
crushed the life out of his body. A veteran of the fifth 
legion rushed forward to attack the beast, who was roaring, 
and lashing with his proboscis. The elephant immediately 
forsook his victim, and, catching up the soldier in his trunk, 
whirled him in the air. But the intrepid warrior did not 
lose his presence of mind : he wounded the elephant in his 
sensitive proboscis, till, exhausted with pain, he dropped the 
soldier, and fled in terror to his companions." 

The elephant was probably not used to any extent in war 


by the Romans, after the establishment of the imperial gov- 
ernment. In A.D. 193, we read that Rome was filled with 
horses and elephants, ready for use in the proposed war 
between Didius Julianus and Septimius Severus. In the 
famous battle between Alexander Severus and Artaxerxes 
(A.D. 230), three hundred elephants were taken from the 
Persians, and a number marched to Rome in solemn state. 
The introduction of new appliances of war, and the success- 
ful attempts in routing bodies of elephants, probably did 
much to render them unpopular, for a time at least, among 
the Roman conquerors. 




IN the history of nearly all animals, there will be found 
associated some curious fiction. 

In Burmah and Siam, the white elephant is supposed, by 
some, to be the abode of a transmigratory Buddha ; and in 
India, certain elephants with a single right tusk are rever- 
enced. In China, the tusks of the mammoth are used in 
medicine ; and in some of the old works, the mammoth itself 
is described as a huge rat, which lives under the ground in 
burrows, formed by the tusks, or teeth. The origin of this 
fable lies in the fact, that, as mammoths were always found 
beneath the surface, it was assumed, that, when alive, they 
lived there. Early anatomists stated that the elephant's 
head was a storehouse for the water which it blew out of its 

It was formerly believed that elephants shed their tusks, 
as do deer their horns. iElian says that they drop them 
once in ten years, which, all things considered, is quite often 
enough. Pliny repeats the story, but adds some private in- 
formation of his own, to the effect that they always hid their 
tusks underground. 

This curious error has found its way into many compara- 
tively modern works: thus, Sir William Jardine states, in 


the naturalist's library, that " the tusks are shed about the 
twelfth or the tenth year." 

Many strange beliefs were entertained regarding the 
elephant of Ceylon. Travellers of the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries, as Pyrard, Bernier, and Phillipe, stated that 
this elephant was the superior of all others in India, both 
physically and mentally ; and Ta vernier is supposed to be 
authority for the statement, that, if a Ceylon elephant be in- 
troduced among others, the latter will instinctively do him 
homage by touching the ground with their trunks. 

Pliile records the fact that elephants have two hearts. He 
argued that this was so, because the animal showed extremes 
of temperament, — one heart controlling the beast when 
good-humored and docile, and the other when it exhibited 
the characteristics of the rogue. 

The older naturalists had few opportunities for making 
careful anatomical examinations of the elephant, and, natu- 
rally, fell into many errors ; one of which was, that elephants 
from sixteen to twenty feet high were not uncommon. 
Major Denman observed some in Africa which he " guessed " 
were sixteen feet high ; though he afterwards measured one 
that had been killed, which was twelve feet six inches at the 
back. Works were published in the last century, which gave 
the height of the animal as from twelve to fifteen feet ; and 
Sir John Hill, M.D., in his "Natural History of Animals," 
1752, states that elephants were said to measure, when full 
grown, twenty feet at the shoulder. 

It is needless to say that this was a gross exaggeration. 
Reference has been made, in a previous chapter, to the size of 
elephants ; and it will be found that a twelve-foot animal is 
an extreme rarity. The skeleton that is preserved in the 



St. Petersburg museum, which is said to stand sixteen feet 
and a half high, is the tallest known, being a foot taller than 
the skeleton of the fossil elephant which was discovered at 
Jubbalpore. It is doubtful if the European mammoth or 
the American form, Elephas Americanus, — a tooth of which 
is shown in Plate I., — attained this height. One of the 
largest elephant skeletons to be seen in this country be- 
longs to the Chicago Medical College, and represents an 
elephant shot in a gorge of the Himalaya Mountains, about 
a thousand miles from Calcutta, in 18G5. Its dimensions are 
as follows : — 

FT. IN. 

11 2 

From top of shoulder to bottom of fore-foot 
From top of head to root of tail . 
Length of trunk, from root to tip 
Circumference of fore-arm . 
Circumference of fore-foot . 



The following are measurements of a large African male 
elephant, made by Thomas Baines, F.R.G.S., which show the 
average dimensions of an animal of the largest size : — 

FT. IN. 

Half the girth of the body 8 9 

Half the girth behind the shoulder 
Half the girth before the hind-leg 
Length of tail, exclusive of hairy tuft 
From insertion of tail to top of forehead 
Top of forehead to insertion of trunk 
Length of trunk . 

Total length of animal 
From front of ear to back . 
From top to bottom of ear . 
Half breadth from eye to eye 
Length of eye 
From fore-foot to centre of spine . . . . 11 6 




















FT. IN. 

Actual height at shoulder 10 9 

Height at middle of the back 12 

Hind-foot to spine 9 3 

Actual height 8 9 

Projection of tusk beyond upper lip . . .2 

Girth of tusk 1 

Breadth of fore-foot 16 

Length of fore-foot 19 

Breadth of hind-foot 1 

Length of hind-foot 2 

Some extremely interesting measurements have been made 
of the skeleton of the elephant Jumbo, by Professor Ward of 
Rochester, who compares them, in a pamphlet, with a skele- 
ton of the Mastodon giganteus, discovered at Orange County, 
N.Y. It is too lengthy and technical to be introduced in 
this connection. The measurements already given are suffi- 
cient to show that the elephants of over eleven or twelve 
feet are extremely rare, while those of eighteen and twenty 
belong to the world of fiction. 

The absence of joints was a feature of the elephant, accord- 
ing to some of the old writers. Sir Thomas Browne, in his 
"Pseudodoxia Epidemica," says, "It hath no joynts;" and 
"being unable to lye down, it lieth against a tree, which 
the hunters observing doe saw almost asunder, whereon the 
beast relying, by the fall of the tree falls also downe itselfe, 
and is able to rise no more." Sir Thomas thinks that " the 
hint and ground of this opinion might be the grosse and 
somewhat cylindrical composure of the legs of the elephant, 
and the equality and less perceptible disposure of the joynts, 
especially in the forelegs of the animal, they appearing, when 
he standeth, like pillars of flesh." 


The honor of discovering jointless animals belongs properly 
to Pliny, who described the machlis, a Scandinavian animal 
without joints. Csesar, in describing the wild animals of the 
Hercynian forests, mentions the alee, " in color and configu- 
ration approaching the goat, but surpassing it in size, its head 
destitute of horns, and its limbs of joints." It is evident that 
Aristotle had some doubt as to whether elephants possessed 
joints in their knees ; and ^Elian, writing two hundred years 
later, perpetuated the error, expressing his surprise that the 
elephants in Rome could dance, when they had no joints. 
This fiction was taken up by the poets of the time, and is 
found in many old writings. Phile, a contemporary of Dante, 
addressed a poem on the elephant to the Emperor Andross 
II., in which he expressed the same belief; and Solinus intro- 
duced it into his fable " Polyhistor." Though the error was 
corrected in the year 802, it was revived by Matthew Paris in 
the thirteenth century, who made a drawing of the elephant 
presented to King Henry III. by the King of France, in 
1255. The animal was represented without joints. 

Shakspeare was a victim to the popular belief, and says in 
"Troilus and Cressida," — 

" The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy. 
His legs are for necessitj 7 , not for flexure." 

Donne, in his "Progress of a Soul," sang of nature's great 
masterpiece, an elephant, — 

" The only harmless great thing. 
Yet nature hath given him no knee to bend. 
Himself he up-props, on himself relies ; 
Still sleeping stands." 


I have previously referred to the fact that the mammoth 
was considered by the Chinese to be an underground, rat-like 
creature ; and in many countries the bones of fossil elephants 
have been considered those of giants. 

In the time of James II., Lord Cherbury was appointed by 
the king to investigate some bones which had been unearthed 
near Gloucester; and there was much discussion about them. 
Many considered them to be the remains of a giant, but 
scientific men proved them to be those of an elephant. 

In the reign of Louis XIII., the scientific world was greatly 
excited over the remains of an alleged giant, which were dug 
up in Dauphine ; and so divided was public opinion, that the 
doctors took sides against one another, some claiming that 
they were the bones of the giant Tentobrochus. One doctor, 
named Mazurier, exhibited the remains in Paris, and stated 
in a pamphlet that they were found in a sepulchre thirty feet 
long, on the upper stone of which was written Tentobrochus 
rex, the name of the king of Cimbri, who fought against 

In 1577 a gigantic skeleton of an elephant was unearthed 
in Lucerne ; and Professor Felix Platen of Basle made an 
examination, by order of the council, and concluded that it 
was the skeleton of a man nineteen feet in height. The 
natives of Lucerne were exceedingly proud of this. Goliath 
was only eleven feet tall ; and the giant Gabbarus of Pliny, 
who lived in the time of Claudius, was about ten feet ; but 
these were pygmies compared to this ancestor of the people 
of Lucerne, and they determined to commemorate his mem- 
ory in a fitting manner, namely, in employing a representa- 
tion to support the arms of the city. The design was made 
by Professor Platen; and some of the original bones are 


still to be seen in the museum of the Jesuit college in 

As late as 1645, the skeleton of an elephant found at 
Crems in Austria was considered a giant ; though Dr. Beh- 
rens argued that such could not be the case, as " the tallest 
man we know of was Og of Basan, whose bed is said, in 
Deuteronomy, chap, iii., to have been eighteen feet long: now, 
allowing the bed to be but one foot longer than the man, he 
was seventeen feet high. 

Even in the last century, the doctors of Germany pre- 
scribed as an absorbent, astringent, and sudorific, the " Ebur 
fossile," or " Unicornu fossile," which was merely the tusk of 
an elephant. 

In the present days, few believers in these old fables can 
be found : the stories of the milk and hoop snakes, the nauti- 
lus and its sails, and other pleasant fictions, seem to have 
superseded them. 

Shakspeare judges this class perhaps not unfairly in " The 
Tempest," when he says, — 

" When they will not give a doit to relieve a lame beggar, they will 
lay out ten to see a dead Indian." 


Comprising a List of the Published Works relating to the Elephant. 

Note. — We regret that the material composing this Bibliography has come to us in such 
an imperfect state, some of the titles being too largely abridged. It is hoped, however, that 
it may prove useful to some who are desirous to read more on this interesting subject; and, 
also, it may remain suggestive of more complete work in the future. 


433. The Mahawanso. 

1650. Hist, des Elephans. S. de Priezse, Paris. 
1673. Billing's Voyages, p. 112. 
1682. An Anatomical Account of the Elephant burnt at Dublin. Allen 

1692. Noord en oost Tartagrye. Witsen, vol. ii. 

1707. Dreyjarige Reise nack. E. Ysobrants Ides, China, etc., Frankfort. 
1710. Anatomy and Osteology, Philos. Trans., vol. xxvii. P. Blair. 
1715. Elephantographia. Petrus ab Hartenfels. 
1715. Remarques Anatomiques sur un Elephant ouvert au St. George. 

1 718. On the Organ of Hearing in the Elephant, Philos. Trans., vol. xxx. 
1720. Leben und Oewohnheiten der Ostiaken unter dem Polo Artico woh- 

nende. J. B. Muller, Berlin. 
1723-33. Essays by Stukeley. 
1730. Das nord und ostliche Theil von Europa und Asia. Strahlenberg, 

1734. Memoires de 1' Academic Royale des Sciences, tome iii. part iii. C. 

1734. Locupletissimi rerum Nat. Thesauri, etc. (Foetus of Elephant). Am- 
1737. The Behemoth, Philos. Trans. 
1737. Handbook, Kluger's. Philos. Trans., Breyne. 
1758. Memoires pour servir a l'Histoire Naturelle, des Animaux, vol. ii., 

1764. Buffon, Hist. Nat., Daubenton. 
1766. Opuscoli di vario Argomento. Serrao, Naples. 



1776,. Kort Berigt van de Ontleding eens Jongen Elephants. Camper. 
1780. Timour's Institute. Dr. "White. 

1783. Beschreibung und Abbildung eines neugebornen Elephanten. Zim- 

1798. The Musical Capacity of the Elephant. In "Decade Philosophique." 


1799. Wars and Sports of the Moguls, Philos. Trans. 

1799. Observations on the Different Species of Asiatic Elephants, and their 

Mode of Dentition. John Corse. 
1799. Some Observations on the Structure of the Teeth of Elephants, Philos. 

Trans., vol. xxxiv. Ev. Home. 

1802. Descrip. Anat. d'un Eleph. (male). A. G. Camper. 

1803. Hist. Nat. des deux Eleph., male et femelle, du Museum, Paris. 

1806. Shaw's Zoology, London. 
1812. De Skeleto Mammonteo Sibirico, Mem. de l'Acad. de St. Petersbourg. 

T. V. Tilesius. 
1823. Indische Bibliothek. A. "W. Schlegel. 
1834. Recherches sur les Ossements Fossiles, Paris, 4th ed. tome i. Cuvier 

et Lourillard. 
1839. Anat. Comp. du Systeme du Nerv. Paris, Leuret et Gratiolet. 
1839. Die Ubereste vorweltlicher Riesenthiere, etc., Berlin. 
1840-44. Odontography. Owen. 

1841. A Practical Treatise on the Diseases of the Elephant. Gilchrist. 
1841. Treatise on the Treatment of Elephants in Health and in Disease. 

1843. Asiatic Journal. 

1843. Hist. Mil. des Eleph. Revue des deux Mondes. 

1844. The Elephant, Knight's Series. 

1846-47. Fauna antiqua Sivalonis. Falconer and Cautley. 

1847. Reminiscences of Sport in India, Proceedings of Academy of Natural 

Sciences, Philadelphia. Burton. 
1847. On the Anatomy of the Elephant. Robert Harrison. Proceedings of 

the Irish Academy, vol. iii.-iv. 
1847. Beitrage zur Anatomie des Elephanten und der iibrigen Pachydermen. 

C. Mayer. 
1852. Description of the Skeleton of Mastodon giganteus. Dr. J. C. Warren. 

1855. Narrative of an Embassy to Ava. Capt. Yule. 

1856. Vulpian and Phillippaux, Annal. Sci. Nat. Zoo., vol. v. 

1856. Notes sur le cceur, le foie, et les poumons d'un Elephant (Femelle). 
Vulpian and Phillippaux. 

1856. Ivory Teeth of Commerce. Owen in Journal of Society of Arts. 

1857. Description of Foetal Membranes and Placenta of Elephantus Indicus, 

etc. Owen. 


1859. Eeminiscences of Sport in India, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Pbila. Burton. 
1859. Sur la Dentition des Proboscidiens, etc. Lartel. Bulletin de la Soc. 

Geologie de France, ser. ii. vol. xvi. 
1861. Essays and Observations, Hunter edition, by Owen, vol. ii. 
1862-67. Animaux Fossiles et Geologie de 1' Antique. A. Gaudry. 
1865. Mammoth and Elephant. H. Falconer. 
1868. Paheontological Memoirs. C. Murchison. 
1868. The Hairy Mammoth, American Naturalist, vol. ii. 
1868. Paheontological Memoirs, vol. ii. Falconer. 
1868. Notes on the Myology of the Elephant, Edinburgh. 
1868. On the Malayan Elephant. By Young Shikary. Oriental Sporting 

Magazine, vol. i. 

1868. Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates. Owen. 

1869. Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. 
1871. Annals of Scientific Discovery, 1871, p. 239. 

1871-74. Obs. in Human and Comparative Anatomy. Watson. Journal of 

Anat. and Physiol. 
1873. The Elephant. Lieut. Ouchterlony. An Essay, in The Veterinarian. 
1873. Highlands of Central India. Forsyth, in Veterinarian. 

1873. Contributions to Extinct Vertebrate Fauna of the Western Territories, 

U.S. Leidy. 

1874. Osteographie des Elephans. De Blainville. 

1874-75. Mammoth in Fiska Vet. Soc. Forhande. Witsen. 2d ed. 

1875. On the Management of the Elephant, and Other Papers on Similar 

Subjects. Col. Hawkes, in Veterinarian. 

1876. Lectures on Comparative Anatomy of the Placenta, Edinburgh. W. 

1878. An article in The Medical Examiner, by J. II. Steel. 

1878. Compendium der Helminthologie. Dr. Von Linston. 

1879. Range of the Mammoth. Boyd Dawken's Quarterly. 

1879. Monograph of British Fossil Elephants, part ii. Lieut. Adams. 

1880. The Elephant in Freedom and in Captivity. Journal of the United 

Service Institute of India, vol. ix., No. 44, July. 
1880. Journal of the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences. 
1880. The Mammoth in Siberia, Geological Magazine. Howath. 

1880. Proboscidea Sivalik und Nasbada, Mem. Geolog. Survey of India. 

K. Lydecker. 

1881. Phenocodus, American Naturalist, December, 1SS1. 

1882. A Notable Elephant. Scientific American, April 15. 

1882. Sanderson on Elephant Equipment. In G. O., 23d August, 1882, 

4,503, Madras. 
1882. Indian Pipes. Barber. (Supposed Prehistoric Elephant Forms in 

Stone. ) 


1882. Field, naturalist column, April, 1882. 

1882. Indian Commissariat, Code, 1882. 

1882. Palseontographical Beitrage zur Nat. der Vorzeit. Herausgegeben 

Dunker und Zittel. 
1884. The Asiatic Elephant in Captivity, Scientific American, May 24, 1884. 

1884. Der Zoologische Garten. Frankfort, D. F. C. Noll. 

1885. Elephant Pipes: Report of the Davenport Academy of Sciences. 
Royal Engineers' and Royal Artillery Manuals for Field Service. 
Government Indian Records. 

Oriental Field Sports. Williamson. 

Notes in Quarterly Journal of Veterinary Science in India. 

Asiatic Researches, Journal of the Asiatic Society in Bengal, Philos. Trans. 

Wild Sports of India. Shakspeare. 

Parasites. Cobbold. 

Siam: Its Kingdom and People. Browning. 

De Anim., lib. iv. 9. Aristotle. 

Natural History. Pliny. 

Caesar, De Bello Gall. 

Ancient World. Ansted. 

Siam. Pallegoix. 

Constitution of the An. Creation, etc. Holland. 

Osteology of Man. Flower. 

Archaeological Album. Wright. 

Rose's Southern Africa. 

Fossil Remains of Big Bone Lick. Cooper. 

iElian de Animalibus, lib. ii. chap. xi. Genser's Translation. 

Mastodon, Geological Transactions, vol. ii. 2d series. 

Memoires sur les Ossements Fossiles d' Elephant trouves en Beige. 

South Africa. Chapman. 

Okarunda River. Andersson. 

Thirteen Years among Wild Beasts of India. Sanderson. 

Zoology of South Africa. Andrew Smith. Tennent's works. 

Fossil Elephants and Archaeology of Maltese Islands. A. S. Adams. 

Principles of Geology. Lyell. 

CasselPs Natural History, vol. ii. 

Dental Anatomy. C. S. Tomes. 

Natural History of America. Hill. 

Wolf's Life and Adventures. 

Denman's Travels. 

Vulgar Errors, book iii. chap. i. 

India, and Tiger Hunting. Barras. 

American Naturalist, vol. v. pp. 606, 607. 

Natural History of New York, vol. iv. 


A Second Visit to United States. Lyell. Vol. i. p. 349. 

Rambles in Mexico. Latrobe. Vol. i. p. 145. 

American Antiquities. Bradford. Page 276. 

Prehistoric Races of U. S. Foster. Page 370. 

Mexico and Yucatan. De Waldeck. 

Aman. Epist., lib. i. cap. 25. 

Pausanias, lib. — , cap. 25. 

The Nature of Animals. ^Elian. 

Le B run's Voyage to Ceylon. 

Zoological Recreations. Broderip. 

Note-Book of a Naturalist. Broderip. 

Calcutta. Sterndale. 

South Africa. Baldwin. 

Large and Small Game of Bengal. J. H. Baldwin. 

Elephant Haunts. Falconer. 

Sport in British Burmah. Pollock. 

Lions and Elephants. Andersson. 

Ceylon. Campbell. 

Epoch of the Mammoth. Southall. 

The Placenta and Generative Apparatus of the Elephant, Proceedings of 

Phil. Acad, of Nat. Sciences, 2d series, vol. viii., illustrated. 
Ossements Fossiles. Cuvier. 
British Fossil Mammals. Owen. 
The Mammoth, Voyage of the Vega Nordenskiold. 
Ceylon. Sir Emerson Tennent. 
Oriental Memoirs. Forbes. 
Les Six Voyages de J. B. Tavernier. 
Ramayana. Carey and Marsham. 
Asiatic Journal. G. Fairchild. 
Sketches of South Africa. Pringle. 
Difference between the Human and Elephant's Tympanum. Sir Everard 

Discoveries in Africa. Le Vaillant. 
Bosnian's Guinea. 
Asiatic Transactions, vol. 3. 
Asiatic Resources. Welford. 
Natural History of the Human Species. Smith. 
Natural History of the Elephant. Rennie. 
Cuvier. Sur les Revolutions de la Surface du Globe. 
War Sports. Rankins. 
Oration of Demosthenes against Ophobus. 
Indian Field Sports. Johnson. Chap. ix. 
Dampier's Voyages, vol. ii. p. 68. 


Narrative of the Burmese War, p. 170. 

Twelve Years' Hunting Adventures. Williamson. 

China Illustrated. Kircher. Chap. iv. 

Embassy to the Coast of Ava. Crawford. 

Travels by Albert de Mandelsloes. 

Comparative Anatomy. Home. 

Histoire de l'art. Winkleman. 

Vegetius, lib. hi. c. 24. 

Catalogue of Hunterian Museum, Royal College Surgeons, London. 

Holzassffel. Turning, and Mechanical Manipulation. 

South Kensington Handbook on Ivories. 

Marco Polo. Col. Yule. 

First Footsteps in Eastern Africa. Burton. 

Layard's Nineveh and its Remains. 

Ilios. Schliemann. 

Oriental Memoirs. Forbes. 

Les Elephants a la Guerre, Revue des deux Mondes, 1874. 

Me'moires pour servir a l'Histoire Naturelle des Aniniaux, tome ii. p. 503. 

Physical Curiosse, p. 1024. 

The Large Game of South Africa. Drummond. 

Twenty-first Annual Report of State of New York Museum of Natural His- 
tory. Hall. 

Memoirs of Baber. Blumenbach. Lawrence and Coulson's translation. 

Lecons d'Anatomie comparee, tome v. 

Every-day Book. Home. Vol. ii. p. 322. 

Hindostan. Dow. 

Narrative of the Burmese War, p. 170. 

Tennent's Indian Recreations. 

Shipp's Memoirs. 

Bell's Travels. 

Struy's Travels. 

Mill's British India, book vi. chap. iv. 

Abbandlungen der geologischen Reichsanstalt, vol. ii. 

Mammiferes Tertiaries. Gaudry. Melanges Biologiques, tome v., St. Peters- 
burg, pp. 645, 740. 

The Kilima Njaro Expedition. H. H. Johnson, Scribner and Welford. 

Autopsy of an Elephant. A. J. Howe, M.D. Scientific American sup- 
plement, No. 186. 

Birth of an Elephant (illustrated). G. E. Lussendorff, M.D. Scientific 
American supplement, No. 343. 

Composition of Elephant's Milk. Doremus. Scientific American supple- 
ment, No. 288 (illustrated). 

Nita Karoli. Eimihard. 


Survey of Bhagulpore. Buchanan. 

Historical Relation of Ceylon. Knox. 

Hunter's Life in Africa. Gordon Gumming. 

Elephant Shooting in Ceylon. Major Macready. 

The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon. Baker. 

Indian Sporting Review. 

The Hastisilpe : A Singhalese Work on the Elephant. 

Expositio de Elephante. Phile. 

Histoire Militaire des Elephans. Armandi. 

Naturalist's Library, vol. ix., Pachyderms. Sir William Jardine. 

Coup-d'ceil general sur les Possessions Neelandaiser dans l'lnde Archipela- 

gique. Temminck. 
Travels in Mogul Empire. Bernier. 
Works of Travel by Pringle, Knox, Shipp, Marco Polo. 
Anatomy of the Indian Elephant. Miall and Greenwood. 1878. 
Desc. Anatom. d'un Elephant, Male. Camper. 
Gori. Industrial Arts. 
Bishop Hakewill's Apology. 

The following are from catalogue of Dr. A. E. Foote, of Philadelphia, 
Penn. : — 

No. 37130. Elephas Texicanus. Blake. 

No. 37140. Fossil Bones of Mastodon and Elephant, from Benton 

County, Mo. Dr. Chaloner. 
No. 37150. Great American Mastodon. 
No. 37160. Entire Head and Other Bones of Mastodon. Homer 

and Hays. 
No. 37210. Fossil Elephant's Teeth of North America, and Masto- 
don Remains in Ohio. Kilpart. 
No. 37220. Discovery of the Great American Mammoth, and its 

Anatomical Character. J. Ware. 
No. 37560. Geological Position of Remains of Elephant and Mas- 
todon in North America. 
No. 37630. Big Bone Lick and its Fossil Remains. W. Cooper. 
No. 37820. Mammoth from New Jersey. T. P. Stewart. 
No. 37820. Fossil Remains of Mastodon, Ontario County, N.Y. 
No. 37820. Fossil Tooth of Elephant from Lake Erie shore, and 

Mastodon from Delaware and Hudson Canal. 
No. 31860. Extinct Elephant and Other Animal Remains, Water- 
ford County, Ireland. E. Brenan. 
No. 42790. Memoir upon Living and Fossil Elephants. Cuvier. 



Abyssinian elephant, 176. 

tusks of, 176. 
Actium, 239. 
Adams Peak, 24. 
Adelphi Theatre, 187. 
Adis, battle of, 295. 
^Elian, 193, 295. 

refers to a white elephant, 117. 
Age of elephants, 22. 
Aggageers, 172-176. 
Agra, 245. 

amphitheatre at, 245. 

Prince of Wales at, 253. 
Agrippina, 233. 

Air-cells of elephant's skull, 6. 
Akbar, the emperor, elephants of, 268. 

as an elephant-rider, 209. 
Albert, Barnum's rogue elephant, 151. 
Albinism of elephants, 124. 
Albino, test of, 132. 
Alexander the Great, elephant medal 
of, 287. 

passing the Indus, 284. 

war elephants of, 277. 
Alexander Severus, famous battle 
with three hundred elephants, 
American showman, 66. 
Anarajapoora, Temple of the Tooth 

at, 117. 
Anay, elephant-hunting cry, 110, 154. 
Antiochus, King of Syria, 233, 290. 
Ants, 27. 
Anytus, 232. 
Apennines, elephants marching over, 

Aphis, 27. 

Apis of Buddha, 119, 131. 
Appian, his account of war with ele- 
phants, 303. 
Arcot, Nabob of, 265. 

Argos, 294. 

Aristotle, on elephants' joints, 313. 

Armorseus, King, elephants of, 277. 

Arno, elephants passing the, 301. 

Artaxerxes, elephant battle of, 308. 

Arnold, Edward, 125. 

Asdrubal, commander of Carthagin- 
ian forces, 303. 
war elephants of, 303. 

Asiatic Society, Journal of, ways of 
elephants, 13. 

Antiochus, 291. 

Aurelian, triumph of, 253. 

Aurengzebe, in battle with elophants, 

Ava, king of, 130. 

elephants of, 21, 130. 

Baby elephant, 179. 

Baber, Emperor, on height of ele- 
phants, 21. 

Baker, Sir Samuel, 5, 25, 98, 174. 

Baines, Sir Thomas, 223, 311. 

Baldwin, elephant-hunter, 164. 

Barnum, Phineas T., 7, 66, 68, 148. 
white elephant, 123. 

Barrackpoor, 18, 207. 

Beard, J. C, 181. 

Behrens, Dr., 315. 

Bengal elephant-catching establish- 
ment, 92. 

Berrien, Capt., U.S.N., 213. 

Bheemruttee, a famous elephant, 22. 

Bishop Heber on motion of ele- 
phants, 207. 

Bock, Carl, author, 132. 

Book of Maccabees, armor of ele- 
phants, 276. 

Bo-trees, a sacred tree, eaten by ele- 
phants, 144. 
favorite food of elephants, 12. 




Bowring, Sir John, 119, 126, 133. 
Brain of the elephant, 29. 
Bridgeport, baby elephant, 10. 

city of, 204. 
Brooke, Sir Victor, 109, 115. 
Browne, Sir Thomas, 312. 
Buddha, mythology of, 118, 120. 
Buddhists, Apis of, the white ele- 
phant, so called, 119. 
Burmah, white elephant of, 309. 

Cresar, Julius, account of fighting by 
elephants, 307. 

Caffre beaten to death by a rogue ele- 
phant, 100. 

Cambodia, King of, large elephant- 
owner, 124. 

Cannee, battle of, with elephants, 301. 

Canonore, extraordinary strength of 
elephants at, 209. 

Capua, 303. 

Carthaginians fighting with ele- 
phants, 295, 303. 

Ceylon elephant, 12, 25, 137, 138, 310. 

Chandnee-Doon, rogue near, 159. 

Chardin, author, 122. 

Charges by elephants, 85, 102. 

Charlotte, N.C., rogue elephant at, 

Chicago Medical College, skeleton of 
a large elephant in, 311. 

Chief, a famous elephant, 150. 

China, use of mammoths' tusks in, 

Cliittagong, elephant forest, 92. 

Chundasaheb, Indian nabob, 265. 

Chuni, a famous elephant, 193. 

Commissariat Department of Madras, 
sales of elephants at, 86. 

Conqueror, a notable elephant, 5. 

Coorg, baby elephant from, 22. 

Cooroowe vidahn, head stableman 
for elephants, 146. 

Cornwallis, Marquis, 20. 

Coromandel, use of elephants in war 
of, 210, 265. 

Corral, elephant, 137, 144. 

Corse, elephant hunter, 2, 11, 20. 

Cranes on elephant's back, 192. 

Crawford, author, on elephants, 118, 
130, 208. 

Crems, skeleton of elephant in, 315. 

Cripps, elephant hunter, 24, 146. 

Cross, H. H., author, on elephants, 29. 

Ctesias, earliest writer on elephants in 

war, 277, 279. 
Gumming, elephant hunter, 5. 
Cuvier, 6. 

Curius Dentalus, wars of, 294. 
Czar Peter, 21. 

Dacca, Nabob of, 20. 

in Bengal, elephant establish- 
ment, 204. 

Dah! dab! a cry used to disconcert 
wild elephants, 143. 

Dalton, Dr. J. C, opinion on intel- 
ligence of the elephant, 29. 

Daman, the siege of, 268. 

Dauphine, in France, 314. 

Dara, potentate who fought with ele- 
phants, 266. 

Dehra Rajah, native chief, 163. 

Delhi, battle of, 271. 

war elephants of, 271. 

Department, Commissariat, Madras, 

Department, the Forest, 88. 

Demetrius, in battle with ele- 
phants, 289. 

Denman, Major, an African travel- 
ler, 310. 

Didius Julianus, in battle with ele- 
phants, 308. 

Devonshire, Duke of, owner of a 
well-trained elephant, 190. 

Deuteronomy, Og of Bashan, 315. 

Dimensions of elephant's skeleton, 

D'Obsonville, M., observations by, 

Dom Pedro, a Philadelphia elephant, 
named for the emperor, 149. 

Doon, rogue elephant in the, 158. 

Dow, an author, describes elephants 
with swords lashed upon their 
trunks, 269. 

Driver, called mahout, 96. 

Drummond, author, 13, 29. 

Dufferin, Lord, presented with a 
"living paper-cutter," 203. 

Duke of Edinburgh, owner of ele- 
phant Tom, 150. 

Dunlop, Capt., British army, refers 
to rogue elephant Gunesh, 158. 

Dutch stables at Molura, an old ele- 
phant found there, 147. 

Dwasala, a caste of elephants, 94. 



East India Company, 20. 

Elephant, rogue, a dangerous, 160. 

East Indian elephant-traders, 01. 

rogue, mischievous, 161. 

Elephant, Asiatic, how captured, 77. 

Sanderson's adventure with a 

Asiatic, in captivity, 91. 

rogue, 156. 

Asiatic, various breeds of, 93. 

tusks, as trophies, 115. 

Asiatic, fodder of, 95. 

tusks, largest Asiatic, 115. 

Asiatic, Barnum's, harnessed, 

weight of, at birth, 10. 


white, 117. 

Asiatic, on ancient medals, 233. 

white, Vincent on, 119. 

Asiatic, food of, 12. 

white, worshipped, 120. 

as a swimmer, 18. 

white, Kircher on, 122. 

battery, 255. 

white, Mr. Barnum's, 123, 133. 

catchers, 12. 

white, nature of, 124. 

Ceylon, 137. 

white, order of, 125. 

Ceylon, number exported, 138. 

white, rare creatures, 127. 

characteristic voices of, 139. 

white, number captured, 127. 

Duke of Devonshire's, 190. 

white, ceremonies attending the 

dwarf, 9. 

capture of, 127. 

famous : — 

white, ceremonies at the death 

"Albert," 151. 

of, 128. 

"Alice," 75. 

white, attentions bestowed on, 

" Bridgeport, " 10. 


" Chief," 150. 

white, Zachard saw, 130. 

" Conqueror," 5. 

white, of Siam, 130. 

"Dora Pedro," 149. 

white, of Ava, 130. 

"Emperor," 150. 

white, "The Lord of the," 130. 

"Hebe," 179. 

white, young, 131. 

"Jumbo," 6(5-76; his death, 

white, of Bangkok, by Vincent, 

74; skeleton of, 312. 


"Romeo," 151. 

white, Theebaw's, 131. 

"Tom," 150. 

white, points of perfection of, 132. 

female, 10. 

white, Toung Taloung, 132. 

gait of, 207. 

white, hunters of, 134. 

hunt, by Sir Victor Brooke, 109. 

white, bill of sale of Barnum's, 

hunt, close quarters, 112. 


hunters, daring of Arab, 174. 

white, " The Light of Asia," 136. 

in captivity, Ul-96. 

Elephants and their friends, 192. 

in pageantry, 249. 

at work, 201. 

in the amphitheatre, 241. 

Asiatic, hunting, 97. 

in the arts, 231. 

as saddle-beasts, 206. 

in Egyptian art, 177. 

as battering-rams, 202. 

in the circus, 1S9. 

as executioners, 199. 

intelligence of, 28. 

as nurses, 202. 

ivory of the, 217. 

a team of, 209. 

Meerga caste, 139. 

armor of, in the Mogul Empire, 

methods of communicating with, 



Ceylon, age of, 146. 

owned by Louis XIV., 17. 

Ceylon, 140 years old, 147. 

paper-cutter, 203. 

curiosity of, 143, 161. 

parades, 252. 

damage to crops by, 156. 

riding, Bishop Heber's account 

expense of, 97. 

of, 207. 

expense of keeping, 96. 

rogue, a famous, 157. 

extraordinary strength of, 209. 

rogue, Gunesh, 158. 

fictions about, 309. 



Elephants, fishing by, 210. 

Elephants, war, of the Romans, 296. 

flesh esteemed, 176. 

wild, the attack by, 98. 

gestation of, 10. 

Elephas Africanus, African ele- 

great caution of, 264. 

phant, 1. 

habits and ways of, 12. 

Elephas Americana, a tooth of, 

harnessed, 205. 


hauling ships, 209. 

Elephas Indicus, Indian or Asiatic 

hauling timber, 204. 

elephant, 1. 

herds of, captured in Ceylon, 144. 

Elephanta, Island of, 231. 

howdahs for, 207. 

Elephantarch, governor of elephants, 

hunting African, 164. 


hunting, account by Selous, 164. 

hunting, account by Livingstone, 

hunting, narrow escapes, 170. 

Fictions, proboscidian, 309. 

Gejjhemp, a portion of an elephant 

hunting, with swords, 172. 

battle-armor, 269. 

hunting, weapons used in, 99. 

" Geraldine," a famous elephant, 19. 

hunting, by Sanderson, 103. 

" Goliath," 314. 

in battles, 290, 291, 293, 297, 299, 

Grand Khan, elephant hunt of the, 



large ones shot, 105. 

Grote, F., & Co., 219. 

measurement of, 19, 115, 311. 

" Gunesh," a rogue elephant, 158. 

memory of, 162. 

methods of mounting, 208. 

Hamilton, Col. Douglass, 109, 112. 

must, or mad, 151. 

Hamran Arabs, skilled elephant fight 

natural history of, 1. 

ers, 171. 

obedience of, 31. 

Hannibal's elephant in Spain, 296. 

of Julius Cffisar, 307. 

elepbants crossing the Po, 301. 

of Scipio, 306. 

Hannibal, passage of his war ele- 

of Artaxerxes, 308. 

phants over the Pyrenees, 297. 

of Alexander, 308. 

war elephants of, 297, 308. 

of Kublai Khan, 274. 

his elepbants in Africa, 304. 

"playing possum," 31. 

Hardy, Col., 161. 

ploughing, 204. 

Hartenfels, author, on elephant, 4. 

present of, to the President of 

Height of elephants, fictions about, 

the United States, by King of 


Siam, 211. 

Heraclear, 293. 

revenge of, 31. 

Herald, New York, on "Jumbo," 65, 

riding, their speed, 207. 


rogue, 148. 

Hindostan, the crown of, 268. 

rogue, persons killed by, 149. 

Holland, white elephant in, 132. 

rogue, temporary, 162. 

Home, Sir Everard, 17. 

Shakspeare on, 313, 315. 

" Hora," or "ronkedor," native 

shooting, 99. 

name for a rogue elephant, 159. 

skeletons of, 5, 311, 314. 

Howdah, saddle of an elephant, 205. 

so-called solitaries, 152. 

Hutchinson, J. H., notable elephant 

stories of, by Pliny, 309. 

owner, 134. 

stories of, by iElian, 309. 

teeth of, 3, 311. 

Indian elephant, 2, 6. 

training of, 145. 

Instinct of elephants, 28. 

types of, 14, 139. 

Intelligence of elephants, 27. 

value of, 94. 

Ivory, 217. 

war, of modern Asia, 255, 265. 

bangles of, 221. 

war, of Alexander the Great, 277. 

colossal statue in, 239. 



Ivory, College of Physicians and Sur- 

"Lord of the White Elephant," 130. 

geons, London, 229. 

Louis XIV., owner of an elephant, 17. 

doors of the Palatium in, 239. 

Lucanian oxen, elephants so called, 

dust of, 222. 


F. Grote & Co., vaults of, 219. 

Lucerne, gigantic skeleton in, 314. 

hunters of, 226. 

importation of, 220. 

Maccabees, Book of, on elephant ar- 

in the arts, 236. 

mor, 276. 

in Hotel Cluny, 235. 

Macedon, elephants of, 299. 

in Ptolemy's ship, 238. 

Macedonian army, elephant battalion 

Juno of Argos in, 237. 

of, 284, 306. 

Leo X., his taste in, 218. 

Machlis, 313. 

mammoth tusks, 226. 

Magnesia, battle of, with elephants, 

Minerva in gold and, 238. 


Odontological Society, London, 

" Mahaw Anso," a treatise on the ele- 


phant, 117. 

Phidias' statue in, 237. 

Mahmood, elephant of, 117, 122. 

plaques in South Kensington, 235. 

Mahout, name of an elephant driver, 

Roman tablets of, 218. 


schroons, or wrappers, of, 221. 

Mammoth, a complete, 227. 

statue of Alexander in, 238. 

tusks, 226. 

Westendorp & Co., vaults of, 

tusks analyzed, 226. 


Manaar, important elephant depot, 

Mandalay, Theebaw's capital, 131. 

Jinjalls, a small cannon, 99. 

Juggernaut, elephant in ceremonies 

Mandla, a rogue elephant, 153. 

of, 251. 

Marco Polo, on elephants in battle, 

Julius Caesar, war elephants of, 307. 


" Jumbo," 66-76. 

Mastodon giganteus, 312. 

Mastodon, 312. 

Kabul, merchants of, 94. 

Meerga, a breed of elephants, 94. 

Kandy, Temple of, 120. 

Metaurus, battle of, with elephants, 

Kaslegar, King of, battles, 275. 


King of Cambodia, 124. 

Metellus captures war elephants, 296. 

King of Siam, 124. 

Milton, poem on elephant in pageant- 

Kircher, author, on elephant, 122. 

ry, 241. 

Knight, Charles, & Co., Preface. 

Mogul Empire, elephant armor in, 

Koomeriah, best breed of elephant, 



Morlay, important depot of elephant, 

Kreiger Karol, hunter and author, 171. 


Kublai Khan, 209. 

Must, madness of elephants, 151. 

elephants of, 274. 

Mysore, elephant-catching establish- 

Kurrabas, native attendants, 105. 

ment at, 12. 

Mysore, elephant locality, 12. 

Lahore, 270. 

Xegaha, food of elephants, 12. 

" Leveller of the Earth," name of 

Nordenskiold, 227. 

white elephant, 129. 

"Light of Asia," a white elephant, 

Oriental field sports, 2. 


Oswold, Mr., African elephant-hunt- 

Lincoln, Abraham, offered elephants, 

er, 170. 


Oxen, Lucanian, 294. 

Livingstone, 168. 

Oxford Museum, fine tusk at, 226. 

Livy describes battles with elephants, 


Pageantry, 249. 



Pakher, an elephant's armor, 269. 

Panickeas, remarkable elephant- 
fighter, 143. 

Perdiccas, elephants crossing Nile, 
elephants of, 288. 

Phidias, his statues of ivory, 236- 

Pickanniny, trick-elephant, 186. 

Pipes, carved elephant, 239. 

Plato on the elephant, 238. 

Pliny on the elephant, 123, 188, 218. 

Plutarch, 238. 

Polybius describes the battle of Ra- 
phia, 290. 

Porus, King, his large force of ele- 
phants, 284. 

Proboscidian fictions, 309. 

Proboscis, use of, 6. 

Ptolemy, his elephants at Gaza, 289. 

Purchas, author, 194. 

Putnam, C. E., 239. 

Pydua, siege of, and elephants at, 

Pyrrhus, King, his elephants of war, 

Quabeet, Selous's servant, 167. 

Raphia, battle of, 290. 
Riding-elephants, 207. 
Rogue elephant, a mad one, 148. 
Rose, Mr. Cowper, elephant hunter, 

Royal Zoological Gardens, England, 


Sanderson, G. P., author and hunter, 
2, 22, 23, 25, 77, 80, 93. 

Scipio, elephants of, 304. 

Selous, elephant hunter and author, 
14, 164. 

Semiramis, queen, her wooden ele- 
phants, 277. 

Shakspeare, on elephant's joints, 313. 

Shakspeare, fictions in, 315. 

Siam, King of, 211. 

Soopyalot, queen of Theebaw, 131. 

Solitary elephants, 152, 154. 

Stabrobates, an Indian king, 282. 

Statue, ivory, 238. 

St. Petersburg Museum, mammoth 

at, 311. 
South Kensington Museum, 235. 
Sultan Mamood, his magnificent 

armament of elephants, 270. 
Syria, elephants used in, 292. 

Tablets, ivory, 218. 

Tachard, Father, elephant-fight seen 

by, 245. 
Toung Taloung, Barnum's white ele- 
phant, 132. 
Tennent, Sir Emerson, author, 145, 

Temple of Tooth, 117. 
Theebaw, Indian potentate, 124. 

his white elephant, 125. 
Tiger-hunt, 108. 
Tight-rope, 188. 

Timour, his victory over elephants, 

his elephant-team, 209. 
Tom Thumb, trick-elephant, 186. 
Totans & Schmidt, great tusk at, 230. 
Tower of London, elephants at, 188. 
Training elephants, 145. 
Trebia, battle of, 301. 
Trick-elephants, 184. 
Tuskless elephants, 138. 
Tusks, bullets in, 228. 

elephants with nine, 223. 

huge, 223. 

javelin in, 229. 

spiral, 223. 

Vices of elephants, 148. 
Victoria, Queen, 125, 126. 

Order of white elephant conferred 
on, 125. 
Volk, Charles, elephantdmnter, 170. 

War elephants, 255. 
Ward, Professor, 65, 74. 
Westendorp & Co., 219. 
White elephant, 117, 136. 

Xantippus, elephant batteries of, 295.